Episode 028

Dr. Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty

The biggest thing I want is to really show people what is possible.

August 5, 2018

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Episode Overview

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.  

what you’ll learn in this episode

  • What is ‘space’
  • How being in the inaugural department of Nigeria’s Space Agency inspired her to want to learn more about space
  • The reasons space programs are relevant to developing countries, and why it should be part of their development objectives
  • How personal tragedy struck Timiebi while writing her PhD thesis, and how she used it to motivate herself
  • Why she’s so excited about her next career move
  • The best advice Timiebi was ever given 
  • The advice she would give to young African women
  • What her greatest passion is
  • Her greatest fear
  • What she is most proud of having achieved so far 
  • The women she is inspired by, and who she would most like to meet 
  • The impact the Timiebi wants to have in the world
  • What her “I am…” is

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