Anousheh Ansari


Mrs. Anousheh Ansari

M.S. ’92

Engineer, Businesswoman, Space Explorer

Monumental Achievement: Anousheh Ansari has soared high throughout her career as co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems and co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI). She made news in 2006 as the first Iranian-American and first female Muslim in space, spending 10 days on the International Space Station. Ansari has received multiple honors including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Southwest Region and the Horatio Alger Award. She was listed in Fortune magazine's 40 under 40 list in 2001 and honored by Working Woman as the winner of the 2000 National Entrepreneurial Excellence award.

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Anousheh Ansari is CEO of XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Ansari sponsored the $10M Ansari XPRIZE, igniting a new era for commercial spaceflight. Prior to this, she served as CEO of Prodea Systems, a leading Internet of Things technology firm. She captured international headlines by embarking upon an 11-day space expedition, becoming the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, first Muslim woman in space, and fourth private explorer to visit space. Ansari co-founded The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, with a goal of investing $1 billion in women-founded companies by 2020. Her memoir, My Dream of Stars, aims to share her life story as inspiration for young women around the world.