The Secure World Foundation (SWF), the influential think-tank that focuses on the secure, sustainable, and peaceful uses of space, has announced the appointment of Dr. Peter Martinez as its new Executive Director effective 1 October 2018.
The announcement was made on 6 August 2018 by Cynda Collins Arsenault, President and Co-Founder of SWF. Dr. Martinez will replace SWF’s long-serving Executive Director Dr. Michael Simpson, who will serve as Emeritus Executive Director for the remainder of 2018. The official handover between Dr. Simpson and Dr. Martinez will take place on 1 October 2018 at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, Germany.
Dr. Martinez brings a multidisciplinary background to SWF with over 20 years of experience in leadership, management, education, and scientific research, as well as international engagement encompassing capacity-building and workforce development, strategic planning, multilateral space diplomacy, space policy formulation and implementation, and the regulation of space activities.
Dr. Martinez joins SWF from Cape Town, South Africa, where he has coordinated the Space Studies programme at the University of Cape Town (UCT) since 2014 while also serving on several international working groups and committees. From 2010 to 2015, he was the Chairman of the South African Council for Space Affairs. In June 2018, he concluded his service to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), where he served as the chair for eight years on its Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities.
“We are so pleased to have Dr. Martinez join the SWF team,” Ms. Collins Arsenault said. “Following the great leadership of prior Executive Directors, Ray Williamson and Michael Simpson, Peter brings even greater global perspective to our efforts promoting the secure and sustainable use of space for the benefit of all of humanity. Having followed his work at COPUOS as Chair of the Long-Term Sustainability working group, we know his dedication and commitment to our shared vision. He brings great leadership, diplomacy, and management skills to our organization, along with expertise in space sciences and policy with an international perspective. We feel that he brings the perfect combination to continue SWF’s work with our partners in creating cooperative solutions for space sustainability.”
“We were fortunate and honored to have so many highly qualified candidates apply for the position of Executive Director, making it a difficult choice but underlining the fact that under Michael Simpson’s leadership, SWF has achieved a reputation of being an effective and significant contributor in the space policy field,” continued Ms. Collins Arsenault. “Dr. Simpson has supported and developed our staff into thought leaders and developed our commercial space involvement, while also contributing to setting the Space 2030 agenda coming out of UNISPACE+50. He has been practical and visionary at the same time.“
Dr. Peter Martinez said, “I am looking forward to joining the Secure World family and the amazing opportunity to serve as the next Executive Director of the Foundation, an organization whose growth I have had the pleasure to follow since 2008 and that I have come to hold in very high regard. I step into this role humbled to follow in the footsteps of the first two Executive Directors, Ray Williamson and Mike Simpson, colleagues whom I greatly admire. I look forward to having the opportunity to head an organization that is playing a leading role in conversations around cooperative global space governance. It is an honor to have been selected by the President and Board for this role.”
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