President | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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Bruce W. Ferguson is an educator, entrepreneur, and investor with a lifelong interest in technology-based innovation. He has lived and studied abroad for sixteen years in the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, and Africa and has traveled to more than forty-seven countries.

He joined the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) as president on August 1, 2016. Prior to joining AUIS, he served as Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Systems and Management, and as the founding Head of the Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, UAE. At AUIS, he holds a faculty appointment as Professor of Practice, Law.

Ferguson is a co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer of Orbital Sciences, a space technology company that merged with Alliant Techsystems and was acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2018; a co-founder and former chief executive officer of Edenspace Systems Corporation, a biotechnology company; and an early-stage investor in more than a dozen technology companies.

He served as vice chair of the Carnegie Institution for Science and is also a former Fellow at the George Washington University Center for International Science and Technology Policy and former vice chair of the Kansas State University Research Foundation.

Professor Ferguson received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School where he was an Articles Editor of the Harvard Law Review, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an Ed.M. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an A.B. degree magna cum laude in Government from Harvard College, where he was an honorary Harvard National Scholar. Following his graduation from college, he studied political science for a year at Delhi University as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar.  In 1999, Ferguson received the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award. He and his wife, Heather Sandiford, have two children.

Ferguson’s research and teaching interests include entrepreneurship, technology management and finance, and the “innovation ecosystem” that fosters the creation of new products and services. 

Read also:


AlShehry, M. A. and Ferguson, B. W. “A Taxonomy of Crowdsourcing Campaigns.”  Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web Companion. (2015).

Ferguson, B.W.  “The Gift of Solutions via Complementary Problems.” The National 28 September 2014,

Ferguson, B.W.  “Innovation Policy and Strategies Need to be Industry Specific.” The National 17 April 2014,

Ferguson, B.W., Abdulrahman, N.A., and Abdulrahman, Y.A.  Keep it Clean.  Case Study 2014-01, April 8, 2014, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Ferguson, B.W., Editor. UAE Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2013: Summary and Recommendations. Masdar Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Abu Dhabi, December 2013, ISBN 978-0-9916271-0-3.

Ferguson, B.W.  “Ecosystem Innovation.” 14 The National 3 March 2013.

Elless, M.P., B.W. Ferguson, C.A. Bray, S. Patch, H. Mielke, and M.J. Blaylock. “Collateral Benefits and Hidden Hazards of Soil Arsenic During Abatement Assessment of Residential Lead Hazards.”  Environmental Pollution 156:20-28 (2008). 

Ferguson, B.W.  “Systems Agriculture:  Towards a Sustainable Agricultural and Environmental Policy.” NABC Report 17: Agricultural Biotechnology: Beyond Food and Energy to Health and the Environment, National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (2005).

Ferguson, B.W.  “Private Industry and Space: International.” Magill’s Survey of Science: Space Exploration, Salem Press (1989).

Ferguson, B.W. “International Coordination of Space Commercialization Policies.”  Paper IAA-88-580, 39th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation (1988).       

Ferguson, B.W.  “Space Commerce.”  Letter, Science 226:240 (1984).

Ferguson, B.W.   “LaSalle v. Rosewell and the Tax Injunction Act.”  Case Comment, Harvard Law Review (1980).

Sustainability and ecosystem innovation: Bruce Walker Ferguson at TEDxWWF

Can sustainability go hand in hand with innovation? A TED talk by Professor Bruce Ferguson on how our need for sustainable solutions to the planet's environmental issues will require a system for innovation to thrive.