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Rowena Sirey

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Head of International Relations of ESO
Rowena Sirey
Rowena Sirey

Rowena Lilian SIREY
Head of International Relations, ESO

After gaining a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Durham, England and an MS in Chemistry from the University of Oregon, USA, Rowena returned to the UK to work for the Department of Trade and Industry, where she held a range of posts covering matters as diverse as marine and search and rescue policy; iron and steel; and export promotion, including a six-month attachment to the Commercial Section of the British High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya.

She then moved to work for the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) and its successors (the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) ), where she held posts dealing with Information Technology; synchrotrons (the SRS at Daresbury and the UK engagement with ESRF): lasers (the Central Laser Facility at RAL); astronomy (including national and international telescope facilities); and the PPARC's involvement with the UK's Joint Infrastructure Fund, which aimed to address infrastructure underdevelopment in UK universities.

She was responsible within PPARC for the process of UK accession to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in 2002, and represented the UK at the ESO Finance Committee from January 2002-December 2003. She then Chaired the Finance Committee from  January 2004 until December 2007, and represented the UK at ESO Council from January 2005 until May 2008.  

At the same time, she represented the UK on the ESA Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) from June 2004 until May 2005, and Chaired the AFC from June 2005 until June 2008, being instrumental in initiating the financial management reform that is in progress at ESA.

She moved to ESO in September 2008.

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