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

In this episode, Dr. Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty shares her greatest passion as an African woman in her industry and how she turned adversity into motivation.

Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty is an international and space lawyer who’s worked for Nigeria’s space agency and consulted for Canada’s space agency. She is the former executive director of the World Space Week Association (WSWA), and in 2017, was named ‘Young Space Leader‘ by the International Astronautical Federation.  And yet, she recalls a trip to Texas as a teenager, when she didn’t see how space was relevant. She even found her first trip to the NASA museum ‘boring’!

After completing her law degree in Nigeria, Timiebi went to work with the inaugural office of the Nigeria Space Agency as part of her National Youth Service.  Although intimated by some of the more established countries with advanced space programs at first, she was able to overcome her fears thanks to her family’s support. She saw the advantages of having space programs and how it would benefit developing countries. She began to understand her role and her power. After all, Africans have the right to contribute to the discussion.

To bolster her knowledge, Timiebi went studied for a Masters degree in Space Management from the International Space University. And then she went on to get her 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 how it impacts on society.

“The biggest thing I want is to really show people what is possible.” – Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty

Working to create a level playing field so that developing countries can take advantage of innovations is her greatest passion. 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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