Our Founders

The Space Frontier Foundation was created in 1988 out of the collective vision of our three co-founders and a group of fellow space community leaders. Throughout the history of the Space Frontier Foundation, our co-founders have continued to lead the Foundation in its effort to rapidly open the space frontier. Read about each of our co-founders below.

Jim Muncy, SFF Founder

Rick Tumlinson, SFF Founder

Bob Werb, SFF Founder, Chairman of the Board

 

Jim Muncy

A long-time leader in the space advocacy community, Muncy co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation in 1988 and served as its Chairman of the Board for six years. Earlier he had served on the Board of Directors of both the National Space Society and the L5 Society. Muncy has worked in multiple facets of space policy and advocacy, beginning his career in space policy in 1981 as a staff advisor in the Office of Congressman Newt Gingrich, where he helped Mr. Gingrich co-found the Congressional Space Caucus and develop visionary space policy legislation and initiatives. Muncy later worked in the US House of Representatives, serving on the Professional Staff of the House Science Committee’s Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee. In addition to being Chairman Dana Rohrabacher’s staff designee, Muncy held the lead responsibility for issues and programs such as reusable launch vehicles, human space flight commercialization, military space technology, export control reform, range modernization, and future NASA programs.

In 2000, Muncy founded PoliSpace, an independent space policy consultancy, to help space entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs succeed at the nexus of business, public affairs, and technology. This work prepared him to lead two successful industry lobbying efforts in 2004 and 2005: winning enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (P.L 108-492), and securing an amendment to the Iran Nonproliferation Act to allow NASA to buy commercial space goods and services with Russian content.

Muncy holds an MS in Space Studies from the Center for Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar.

Rick Tumlinson

Prior to co-founding the Space Frontier Foundation, Rick Tumlinson worked for noted scientist Gerard K. O’Neill at the Space Studies Institute, founded the New York L-5 Society and was a key player in starting the Lunar Prospector project which discovered hints of water on the Moon. He also helped pass the Space Settlement Act of 1988, testified before President Reagan’s National Commission on Space and was a founding trustee of the X-Prize. Over the years he has been a lead witness in six congressional hearings on the future of NASA, the U.S. space program and space tourism. This includes testifying before Senator John McCain and the Senate Space and Technology Committee on the Moon, Mars and Beyond program.

Tumlinson has helped raise funds for projects as wide ranging as the Air Force’s DC-X rocket project, the International Space University and the X-33 rocket program. He founded the firm LunaCorp,which produced the first ever TV commercial shot on the International Space Station for Radio Shack. He led the team which turned the Mir Space Station into the world’s first commercial space facility, and was a co-founder of the space firm MirCorp. Tumlinson has served as the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Foundation for the International Non-Governmental Development of Space (FINDS), a foundation which funded breakthrough projects and activities such as Helium 3 research, laser launch studies and asteroid processing projects.

Tumlinson has made multiple media appearances, speaking and writing on various space topics in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, on CNN, ABC’s World News Tonight, Politically Incorrect, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CNBC’s Open.

Bob Werb

Born and raised in New York, Bob Werb holds a B.S. in Biology from Syracuse University. Werb served two distinguished years in the Peace Corps in Cameroon’s Eastern Province where he initiated a program with inland agricultural fisheries.

Werb’s space activism began after meeting Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill in New Jersey. Werb went on to co-found the New Jersey L5 Society chapters, eventually working closely with Dr. O’Neill on the republication of The High Frontier. Personal business successes as a commercial Real Estate Developer opened new opportunities for increased activism in the growing NewSpace movement. By 1988, Werb and two other individuals, Jim Muncy and Rick Tumlinson, saw an opening for a new type of non-profit advocacy organization. The Space Frontier Foundation was born.

In addition to the responsibilities as a co-founder of the SFF, Werb has served as the Foundation’s Treasurer, as Chairman of the Board, and in project management positions. In 2004, Werb was one of the three people who coined the word NewSpace and also led the strategic review where the Foundation adopted “Advancing NewSpace” as its mission. Since then he has been engaged in implementing that strategy and overseeing the rapid growth of the Space Frontier Foundation.