Anousheh Ansari

CEO & Co-Founder, Prodea Systems

Dr. Anousheh Ansari is a cofounder and CEO of Prodea Systems, a leading internet-of-things (IoT) technology firm. As she launched her new company in 2006, she also blasted off for an 11-day space expedition, fulfilled a childhood dream, and captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, first Muslim woman astronaut, and fourth private explorer to visit space.

As a successful serial entrepreneur and active proponent of world-changing technologies, Dr. Ansari, along with her family, sponsored the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million cash award that ignited a new era in the private space industry. Dr. Ansari published her memoir, My Dream of Stars, to inspire young woman around the world.

Dr. Ansari is a Vision Circle and board member of the X Prize Foundation. She serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council and has received numerous honors, including the WEF Young Global Leader, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, to name a few.

Dr. Ansari is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and serves on the board of Jabil (NYSE: JBL) and Peace First as well as several other not-for-profit organizations focused on STEM education and youth empowerment. She currently works to enable social entrepreneurs to bring about radical change with organizations such as ASHOKA, which supports social entrepreneurship around the world.

Dr. Ansari holds a BS in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, an MS in electrical engineering from George Washington University, and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and International Space University.