Anousheh Ansari

Anousheh Ansari

CEO and Co-Founder
Prodea Systems, Inc.

Anousheh Ansari is co-founder, chairwoman, and chief executive officer of Prodea Systems, an innovative Internet of Things platform that connects people, data, and devices. As she launched her new company in 2006, she blasted off for an 11-day space expedition and captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer, the first astronaut of Iranian descent, and the first Muslim woman and fourth private explorer to visit space. This was the accomplishment of her childhood dream. As a successful serial entrepreneur and active proponent of world-changing technologies, she and her family provided the title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million cash award that ignited a new era in private space industries. Ansari has published her memoirs, titled “My Dream of Stars,” to use her life story to inspire young woman around the world. She is a board member of the X Prize Foundation and a Vision Circle member. She is a UNESCO Good Will Ambassador and serves on the board of The Peace First and Museum of Mathematics, 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 globally, with organizations such as ASHOKA, which supports social entrepreneurship around the world. Ansari holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University; a master’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University; and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and the International Space University.