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Head of the ESA Security Department


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Junior level - A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Security and Safety
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Head of the ESA Security Department

Job Requisition ID:  18690
Date Posted:  31 May 2024
Closing Date:  28 June 2024 23:59 CET/CEST
Publication:  Internal & External
Type of Contract Permanent
Directorate:  Director General's Services

Paris, FR

Grade Band A6 - A6


ESA Headquarters, Paris, France


Head of the ESA Security Department in the Director General’s Services.

Under the direct authority of the Director General, the Head of the ESA Security Department, in cooperation with the ESA directorates and in coordination with the ESA Security Committee, is the ESA Security Authority for all ESA security for space matters in line with the ESA Security Framework. In addition, in collaboration with the Legal Department, the Head of the ESA Security Department is the Chief ESA Export Control Officer.


Under the authority of the Director General, you, as Head of the Security Department, will be responsible for:

  • advising the Director General on security for space matters and on the general security strategy for the Agency;
  • managing and leading the ESA Security Department team in line with the ESA Security Framework;
  • proposing, establishing and maintaining a security strategy and policy for ESA corporate security and ESA space projects and programmes;
  • supervising, coordinating and controlling the correct implementation of the ESA Security Framework through the provision of a homogeneous, Agency-wide approach to security management and assurance;
  • supervising and coordinating the correct implementation of any ESA security agreement and arrangement, with a particular focus on the ESA-EU Security Agreement and any parts relevant to security in the ESA-EU Financial Framework Partnership Agreement (FFPA);
  • establishing regular coordination meetings with the EU security authorities;
  • acting as the Security Certification and Accreditation Authority, providing security assurance at corporate and space level, while also conducting high-level independent security risk management and threat assessment, security audits, certification and accreditation engineering during the life cycle of projects, in coordination with ESA directorates;
  • supporting ESA directorates in managing the EU accreditation process related to EU delegated activities in line with the FFPA and the ESA Security Framework;
  • preparing, conducting and reporting on the annual inspection programme of critical sites, infrastructure, network and applications, including the cyber security audit plan, for ESA, third states and international organisations covered by security agreements; 
  • conducting security investigations into any breach of security and/or compromising of classified information, managing possible ESA security incidents and breaches of security, liaising with national authorities, and initiating actions at ESA level whenever necessary;
  • acting as secretariat of the Security Committee, the ESA Infosec panel and the ESA Industrial Security Panel; 
  • interfacing as the Security Authority of ESA with the security authorities of Member States and third countries;
  • chairing the ESA Security and Cyber Coordination Board in order to supervise and coordinate the ESA Security Framework implementation status, and, as Cyber Security Authority, coordinating the ESA cyber security resilience activities as well as establishing and implementing the ESA Infosec and cyber security strategy and policy, in coordination with the ESA Infosec panel and ESA directorates; 
  • establishing, supervising and coordinating, in synergy with OPS and IT and in close collaboration with the Head of Establishment, the overall cyber security resilience capabilities at the European Space Security and Education Centre (ESEC);
  • conducting a training and awareness programme on security matters;
  • acting as custodian for all approved Programme Security Instructions (PSI), together with their classification guide, carrying out any required updates to their annexes;
  • acting as INFOSEC/COMSEC/TEMPEST authority for ESA;
  • overseeing export control as Chief Export Control Officer, in synergy with the Export Control Manager and in coordination with the ESA Legal Department.

You will also be responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and reporting the health and safety risks in your area of responsibility. Previous experience of managing a structure and multiple and multi-site teams is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside the candidate’s home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA’s activities.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of the ESA institutional framework, policies and programmes (Science, Technology, Launchers, Human Space, and/or Applications)
Knowledge of the European and international space sector (institutional, commercial and/or industrial)
Experience of managing security processes
Security and security assurance engineering

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


A master’s degree in engineering is required for this post.

Additional requirements

  • Proven experience in the area of security
  • Understanding of ESA’s functions, rules and policies relating to the management of the different pillars of security
  • Strong sense of diplomacy and the ability to formulate judgements while applying measures with strictness, tact and discretion
  • Solid communication skills and the ability to interface and network with people at all levels
  • Proven experience of leading, motivating and developing a team
  • The ability to provide strategic direction to the individuals and teams within the Department and to relate team objectives to the overall, evolving organisational goals and context
  • The ability to drive performance and foster cooperation within and across teams throughout the organisation
  • Demonstrated excellent leadership, relationship management and communication skills, both oral and written
  • A proven track record of representing the Agency’s interests to external interfaces
  • Excellent cognitive, analytical, delegation, planning and organisational skills
  • The ability to anticipate problems, solve complex issues and relate situations to their context
  • The ability to reach solution-oriented, pragmatic and timely decisions of a high standard and with integrity as well as to support others (team members, upper management, other stakeholders) in this process
  • Proven experience in the security design of complex systems and in establishing a security policy

Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness 
ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


At the Agency we value diversity, and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us via email at

Important Information and Disclaimer
Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations & security clearance by their national security administrations.

During the recruitment process, the Agency may request applicants to undergo selection tests. Additionally, successful candidates will need to undergo basic screening before appointment, which will be conducted by an external background screening service, in compliance with the European Space Agency's security procedures.


Note that ESA is in the process of transitioning to a Matrix setup, which could lead to organisational changes affecting this position.


The information published on ESA’s careers website regarding working conditions is correct at the time of publication. It is not intended to be exhaustive and may not address all questions you would have. 


Nationality and Languages 
Please note that applications can only be considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia. 

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.  


This vacancy is now closed.
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