Dr. Michael K. Simpson retired as Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation in October 2018 and is a former President of the International Space University. He has also been President of Utica College and the American University of Paris with a combined total of 22 years of experience as an academic chief executive officer. He currently holds an appointment as Professor of Space Policy and International Law at ISU.
After graduating from Fordham University, Simpson accepted a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy, retiring from the Naval Reserve in 1993 with the rank of Commander. His naval experience included service as a Political-Military Action Officer at US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
He completed his Ph.D. at Tufts University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, holds a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University; and two Master of Arts degrees from The Fletcher School. He has also completed two one-year courses in Europe: the French advanced defense institute (Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale) and the General Course of the London School of Economics.
He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, a member of the International Institute of Space Law, a member of the Institut Aéronautique et Astronautique de France, and a Senior Fellow of the International Institute of Space Commerce. He currently serves as the pro bono managing director of the Institute of Space Commerce in the United States. He is the author of numerous scholarly papers, presentations, articles and book contributions.
His practical experience includes service as an observer representative to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, participation in the IAF committees on Commercial Spaceflight Safety and Space Security, membership in three IAA Cosmic Study Groups, participating organization representative to the Group on Earth Observations and member of its Ministerial Working Group, and the Board of Governors of the National Space Society in the United States. He was a member of the Panel on Asteroid Threat Mitigation organized by the Association of Space Explorers, served as Vice Chair of The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group, and is an observer at the Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities He continues to serve the Secure World Foundation as a member of its Board of Directors.
Dr. Simpson is on the Council of The Off-World Approach.
“The Space Mineral Resources meeting sponsored by the Hague Institute in 2014 inspired a four-year study of the issue whose report is now under review by the UN. The Off World initiative shows great promise for extending insight to an even broader range of challenges facing the human experience of space.”
– Michael Gold