She’s an international and space lawyer who’s worked for Nigeria’s space agency and consulted for Canada’s space agency. Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty is the former executive director of the World Space Week Association (WSWA). In 2017 she was named ‘Young Space Leader’ by the International Astronautical Federation. And yet, as she shares in our interview, as a teenager she didn’t see how space was relevant, and in fact found her first trip to the NASA museum ‘boring’!
After completing her law degree in Nigeria, Timiebi was assigned to work in the inaugural office of the Nigeria Space Agency as part of her National Youth Service. At first she was intimidated, especially dealing with some of the more established countries that had advanced space programs. But Timiebi realized there were many benefits to be had for developing countries, and they had every right to be represented in space programs.
To bolster her knowledge, Timiebi went studied for a Masters degree in Space Management from the International Space University, as well as a Masters degree in space law from McGill University. Her doctoral research at McGill University focused on how all countries could benefit from space.
Timiebi has become a sought-after expert on international affairs, international relations, global politics, global security, environmental issues, international law….and she’ll soon be joining the faculty at the leading university that’s studying innovation and it’s impact on society.
Her greatest passion she says is working to create a level playing field so that developing countries can take advantage of innovations. Timiebi talks about the reasons space programs should absolutely be included as goals for developing countries.
In a field where there are so few women, and in particular black women, Timiebi shares how she’s used the lack of representation and low expectations of her as an African to motivate herself to excel.