Hear from the First Female Private Space Explorer Anousheh Ansari! Anousheh is an entrepreneur and CEO of the XPRIZE who captured headlines in 2006 with her 11-day space expedition. Anousheh will be joined by SOI alum, engineer, business strategist and space enthusiast Zareen Cheema. Together, they will discuss their experiences as women in their field, Anousheh’s career path and journey to space, and advice for young women interested in STEM.

This interview is part of an educational series called Channel 49, made possible with support from the U.S. Embassy in Canada.

Channel 49

Thanks to support from the U.S. Embassy in Canada, Channel 49 features industry leaders and youth discussing the Arctic, the social and environmental challenges and opportunities it faces, and innovative ways Canada and the U.S. are working together towards bilateral cooperation in the Arctic.

This is an opportunity for youth to learn and engage in important Arctic dialogue and initiatives.

Anousheh Ansari

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, Ansari 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.

Zareen Cheema

Zareen Cheema is a Tech enthusiast, Engineer, and Business Strategist. Her current endeavors take her to Sweden to work in Strategy and Business development of electric performance cars with Polestar.  She has a wide array of experience in automobile, aviation, oil & gas, space, and defense industries bringing in unique perspectives from her Antarctic expedition with Students of Ice. She has been a space enthusiast since a young age receiving accolades at the NASA International Space  Settlement Design Contest in 2012 & 2013. A graduate from UC Berkeley, she has worked as a  Graduate researcher at the Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities Lab & NASA Ames Research  Centre to implement impact responses models for spherical tensegrity robots. She has traveled to six continents and absolutely loves meeting people from different cultures! When the water is not too chilly she loves to SCUBA Dive. Always up for exploration!