Dr Peter Martinez is the Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation. He has extensive experience in multilateral space diplomacy, space policy formulation and space regulation. He also has extensive experience in capacity building in space science and technology and in workforce development. Before joining SWF, from 2011 – 2018, he chaired the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) Working Group on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities that negotiated a set of international consensus guidelines to promote the safety and sustainability of space operations.
In 2012 and 2013, he was South Africa’s representative to the United Nations Group of Government Experts on transparency and confidence-building measures for space activities. From 2010 – 2015, he was the Chairman of the South African Council for Space Affairs, the national regulatory authority for space activities in South Africa. He was a Professor of Space Studies at the University of Cape Town from 2014- 2018. Before this, he acquired fifteen years of executive-level management experience and associated general management skills gained in the research and development environment of the South African Astronomical Observatory, a national facility under the South African National Research Foundation.
Dr Martinez is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications on topics in space policy, space sustainability, astronomy, space research, space law and space policy.
Dr Martinez holds a BSc in Physics and Applied Mathematics, a BSc(Hons) in Materials Engineering, an MSc in Astronomy with distinction, and a PhD in Astronomy, all from the University of Cape Town. He has also attended several executive management courses and the International Space University’s Summer Studies Program, where he developed his interest in space policy and law.