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Organizational structure of ESA

Organizational structure of ESA is as follows:

  1. Director general – DG:
    • The DG is the head of ESA’s management, the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency and its legal representative.
    • The DG is voted by 2/3 of the Council once in a 4 year period.
    • The DG implement programmes, executes policy and reports to the Council.
    • The DG is assisted by scientific, administrative and clerical staff and related personnel to perform the activities. The whole staff is generically named „The Secretariat“. 
  2. The Council:
    • It is a governing body of ESA.
    • The ESA Council consists of representatives of each Member State and is headed by a Chairman, elected for 2 years.
    • Each Member State has one vote.
    • The Council meets quarterly at delegate level and every two to three years at ministerial level.
    • Its role is to take decisions regarding ESA’s activity and policy.
    • The Council is the head of 6 Programme boards and 6 Committees.


6 Committees – are devoted to the definition, management, running and control of mandatory activities:

  • IPC (Industrial Policy Committee)
  • AFC (Administration and Finance Committee)
  • IRC (International Relations Committee)
  • SEC (Security Committee)
  • SPC (Science Programme Committee)
  • ATB (Agency technology and product Transfer Board)


6 Programme boards – are devoted to the definition, to the management, to the running and to the control of the six optional programmes:

  • PB-LAU (Launchers Programme Board)
  • PB-HME (Programme Board for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration)
  • JCB (Joint Board on Communication Satellite Programmes)
  • PB-NAV (Programme Board on Satellite Navigation)
  • PB-EO (Earth Observation Programme Board)
  • PB-SSA (Space Situationnel Awareness Programme Board)

ESA Council and its subordinate bodies (IMAGE SOURCE: ESA)

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