Despina Hatzidimitriou was born in Athens, Greece, in 1962 and got her B.Sc. in Physics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 1984 and her Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Edinburgh in 1989. She was an AAO-SERC fellow at the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Australia and at the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Cambridge, UK. Between 1993 and 2008 she was a faculty member at the Department of Physics of the University of Crete, and since 2009 she has been in the faculty of the Department of Physics of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is also currently an adjunct researcher at the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing at the National Observatory of Athens. She has served as the President of Division VII of the International Astronomical Union. Her scientific interests include stellar physics, kinematics, dynamics and evolution of Local Group galaxies (including our own galaxy). She is a member of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. She has served in several international panels and telescope time allocation committees. She has authoured or co-authoured more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers that have been cited more than 13000 times by other researchers, and has an h-index of 36. She is a member of the Hellenic Astronomical Society (Hel.A.S.), the European Astronomical Society (EAS), the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU). She is also a member of the National Committee for Astronomy of Greece.