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Alex MacDonald

Alexander MacDonald is an executive staff specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory within the Civil and Commercial Space Division.


He expertise is on the economic history of American space exploration and contemporary private-sector space activities. He is formerly the founding NASA program executive of the Emerging Space Program that was established to conduct economic analysis on
emerging commercial space companies.

He is also a former research faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and has worked on small satellite mission designs and served as the first research economist on staff at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

He was a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford where he obtained his doctorate on the long-run economic history of American space exploration and was an inaugural TED Senior Fellow in 2010.

Alex MacDonald