Our Origin Story

Peter Diamandis recognized the need for leaders to understand the exponential pace of change. He first proposed the concept of Singularity University to Ray Kurzweil and to International Space University (ISU) colleagues Dr. Robert D. Richards and Michael Simpson, who became Founding Trustees in mid-2007.

Susan Fonseca, a founding architect, was instrumental in organizing and executing the Founding Conference in September 2008 and finding initial donors. At the first meeting of the Board of Trustees, Salim Ismail was appointed as the founding Executive Director.

Along with curriculum guidance and important support from Christopher Boshuizen, William Marshall, Amara Angelica, Kathryn Myronuk, and Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, the first incarnation of Singularity University was established with inspiration from the interdisciplinary, international and intercultural principles originally pioneered by ISU. With the leadership of Dr. Pete Worden and his colleagues, Singularity University and NASA established a partnership to host SU’s Executive Program and Global Solutions Program, now known as the Global Startup Program, on the NASA Research Park in Moffett Field. Rob Nail was appointed CEO in 2011. The rest, as they say, is history!

“I think we need to be training people on how to change the world.”


Singularity University was jointly founded by Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Dr. Ray Kurzweil in 2008. Learn about their vision for SU in this video:

Associate Founders:

Moses Znaimer, Keith and Mariela Kleiner, Barney Pell, Klee Irwin, Sonia Arrison Senkut, Dan Stoicescu, Reese Jones, David S. Rose, Peter L. Bloom, Geoffrey Shmigelsky, Georges Harik, and Rob Nail

Corporate Founders:

Founding partner logos

Management Team

Singularity University empowers leaders across the globe to leverage rapidly accelerating technologies in order to tackle the world’s most pressing problems and co-create an abundant future for us all. Our leadership team comprises entrepreneurs, scientists, futurists, inventors, and leaders with the breadth and depth of expertise needed to guide us in achieving our mission.

Rob Nail

CEO and Associate Founder

Carin Watson

Chief Growth Officer

James Jones

Chief Financial Officer

Tammy Lakes

Executive Vice President of Online Learning and Digital Business

Mabell Aguilar

General Counsel

Thomas Kriese

Vice President of SU Ecosystems

Kyle Nel

Executive Vice President, Uncommon Partners Lab

Dermot Mee

Vice President, Business Operations

David Hill

Vice President, Faculty, Content and Curriculum

Kris Robinson

Managing Director of People

Monique Giggy

Vice President, SU Ventures

Adam Hofmann

Vice President, Marketing

Nick Davis

Vice President, Corporate Innovation

Board of Directors

The Singularity University Board of Directors includes our CEO, co-founders, and industry luminaries who set our strategic direction.

Dr. Ray Kurzweil

Co-Founder and Chancellor

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis

Executive Founder and Director

Erik J. Anderson

Executive Chairman, Founder & CEO WRG, Executive Chairman of Topgolf

Naveen Jain

Space & Entrepreneurship

Rob Nail

CEO and Associate Founder

Mehul Patel

Board Member

Board of Advisors

Sonia Arrison

Co-founder, Unsugarcoat Media; Trustee, Singularity University

David Hite

Managing Partner B37 Ventures

Barney Pell

Co-founder of Powerset, Moon Express, and LocoMobi

Jen Phillips

Program Manager, Google

Bob Richards

Founding Trustee, Singularity University; Co-founder & CEO, Moon Express