Martine Rothblatt

Martine Aliana Rothblatt (born 1954) is an American lawyer, author, and entrepreneur. Rothblatt graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a combined law and MBA degree in 1981, then began work in Washington, DC , first in the field of satellite communications law, and eventually in life sciences projects like the Human Genome Project . [5] She is the founder and Chairwoman of the Board of United Therapeutics . She was also the CEO of GeoStar and the creator of SiriusXM Satellite Radio . [6]

Early life and education

Rothblatt was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1954 to Rosa Lee and Hal Rothblatt, a dentist. [3] She was raised in a suburb of San Diego , California . [7] [8]

Rothblatt left college after two years and traveled throughout Europe , Turkey, Iran, Kenya, and the Seychelles. It was at the NASA tracking station in the Seychelles , during the summer of 1974, that she had her epiphany to the world via satellite communications . She then returned to University of California, Los Angeles , graduating summa cum laude in communication studies in 1977, with a thesis on international direct-broadcast satellites .

As an undergraduate, she became a convert to Gerard K. O’Neill’s “High Frontier” plan for space colonization after analyzing his 1974 Physics Today cover story on the concept as a project for Harland Professor Epps’ Topics in Modern Astronomy Seminar. Rothblatt subsequently became an active member of the L5 Society and its Southern California affiliate, Organization for the Advancement of Space Industrialization and Settlement (OASIS).

During her four-year law- MBA program, also at UCLA, she published articles on the subject of satellite communications and prepared a business plan for the Hughes Space and Communications Group titled PanAmSat about how a satellite spot beam technology could be used to provide communication service to multiple Latin American countries. She also became a regular contributor on the legal aspects of space colonization to the OASIS newsletter. quote needed ]


Upon graduating from UCLA in 1981 with a MBA / JD degree, Rothblatt was hired by the Washington, DC, law firm of Covington & Burling to represent the television broadcasting industry before the Federal Communications Commission in the areas of direct broadcast satellites and spread spectrum communication. In 1982, she left to study astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park , but was retained by NASA to obtain FCC approval for the IEEE C band system on its tracking and data relay satellites and by the National Academy of Sciences’Committee on Radio Frequencies to the FCC radio astronomy quiet bands used for deep space research. Later that year was also retained as Vice President by Gerard K. O’Neill to handle business and regulatory matters for his newly invented satellite navigation technology, known as the Geostar System. [9]

Rothblatt is a regulatory attorney. [10] She also served as a member of the Space Studies Institute (SSI) Board of Trustees. [11]

In 1984, she was retained by Rene Anselmo, founder of Spanish International Network , to implement her PanAmSat MBA thesis as a new company that would compete with the global monopoly satellite communications, Intelsat . In 1986, she discontinued her astronomy studies and consulting work to become the full-time CEO of Geostar Corporation, under William E. Simon as Chairman. She left Geostar in 1990 to create both WorldSpace and Sirius Satellite Radio . She left Sirius in 1992 and WorldSpace in 1997 to become the full-time Chairwoman and CEO of United Therapeutics . [12]

Rothblatt is responsible for launching several satellite communications companies, including the first private international spacecom project ( PanAmSat , 1984), the first global satellite radio network ( WorldSpace , 1990), and the first non- geostationary satellite-to- radio broadcasting system ( Sirius Satellite Radio , 1990). [13] Rothblatt helped pioneer air services with her Sky Station project in 1997, together with Alexander Haig . [14] [15] She then successfully leads the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allocate frequencies for airship-based internet services. [16]

As an attorney-entrepreneur, Rothblatt has also been responsible for the achievement of international approval, via satellite orbit / spectrum allocations for space-based navigation services (1987) and for direct-to-person satellite radio transmissions ( 1992). She also led the International Bar Association ‘s Biopolitical Project to Develop a Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights for the United Nations (which final version was adopted by UNESCO on November 11, 1997, and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998). [5] [17]

Rothblatt is a well-known voice for medical and pharmaceutical innovation. In 1994, he was diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary hypertension , [18] Rothblatt entered the world of life sciences by creating the PPH Cure Foundation and later by founding a medical biotechnology company ( United Therapeutics , 1996). [12] At that time she also began studying for a Ph.D. in medical ethics at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry , Queen Mary University of London . The degree was granted in June 2001 based on her dissertation on the conflict between private and public interestsxenotransplantation . This thesis, defended by England’s leading bioethicist John Harris , was later published by Ashgate House under the title Your Life or Mine . [19] In 2013, Rothblatt was the highest-paid female CEO in America, earning $ 38 million. [20] Rothblatt received a total compensation of $ 31,581,896 in 2014. On May 11, 2010 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Ben Gurion University of the Negev in recognition of her accomplishments in satellite communications and biotechnology. [21] In April 2008, Rothblatt was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society. [22]


(LR) United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt, OC Helicopters Pilot Ric Webb, Tier 1 Engineering President Glen Dromgoole, United Therapeutics Executive Vice President Paul Mahon before a flight test at Los Alamitos Army Airfield.

In September 2016, the world’s first electric-powered full-size helicopter took flight to Los Alamitos Army Airfield . [23] This historic flight was conceived and mathematically demonstrated by Martine Rothblatt, President of Lung Biotechnology PBC, and implemented by Glen Dromgoole of Tier 1 Engineering and piloted by Ric Webb of OC Helicopters. [24] The helicopter, a modified Robinson R44 weighed 2500 pounds with its test pilot, flew for five minutes, attained 400 feet and exceeded 80 knots airspeed, all of which powered by rechargeable batteries. Rinehart Motion Systems and Brammo, Inc.. The PBC is the first phase in the development and production of an electrically-powered semi-autonomous Rotorcraft for Organ Delivery (EPSAROD). Lung Biotechnology PBC intends to apply the EPSAROD technology to distributing the body of organs for transplantation to major hospitals with much less noise and carbon footprint than current technology. [25]

On February 16, 2017, Rothblatt’s electric helicopter established new world records of a 30 minute flight duration and an 800 foot altitude at Los Alamitos Army Airfield. [26] At the end of the flight, the 2500 pound helicopter still had 8% of charge remaining in its Brammo batteries. On March 4, 2017, Rothblatt and Ric Webb set a world speed record for electric helicopters of 100 knots at Los Alamitos Air Force Army under an FAA N3115T. This was also the first-ever flight of a battery-powered helicopter. [27]

Rothblatt is an airplane and helicopter pilot with night-vision goggle (NVG) certification. She has piles Generally Pilatus PC-12NG and has Bell 429WLG . Her other achievements in aviation XM radio-equipped North American aircraft via her SiriusXM satellite system, and pioneering Aircraft Geolocation Tracking via her Geostar Satellite System. [28]

Personal life

In 1982, Rothblatt married Bina Aspen, a realtor from Compton, California . [2] [3] [4] [29] [30] They have four children together. Rothblatt and Aspen legally adopted one another’s children. [31] [32]

In 1994, at age 40, she came out as a transgender [33] and changed her name to Martine Aliana Rothblatt. She has since become a vocal advocate for transgender rights.

Social activism

In 2004, Rothblatt launched the Terasem Movement , a transhumanist school of thought focused on promoting joy , diversity , and the prospect of environmental immortality through mind uploading and geoethical nanotechnology . Through a charitable foundation , leaders of this school agrees publicly accessible symposia, publish explanatory analyzes, conduct demonstration projects, issue grants, and encourages public awareness and adherence to Terasem values ​​and goals. The movement maintains a “Terasem Island” on the Internet-based virtual world Second Life , which is currently composed of two sims,[34] which was constructed by the E-Spaces company.

Rothblatt is an advocate for LGBTQ rights and an outspoken opponent of North Carolina’s controversial HB-2 law. [35]

Through her blog Mindfiles, Mindware and Mindclones , she writes about “the coming age of our own cyberconsciousness and techno-immortality” and started a vlog together with Ulrike Reinhard on the same topic. She also created as a place where they could go back to their minds.

Rothblatt contributed $ 258,000 to SpacePAC , a super PAC that supported her son, Gabriel , who was running as a Democrat in Florida’s 8th Congressional District [36] but lost. [37] Gabriel is a pastor for the Terasem Movement. [38] [39] [40] [41]


In a January 4, 2008 blog post titled Marketing Transhumanism , lawyer and bioethicist Wesley J. Smith ridiculed the feasibility of the Terasem Movement Foundation’s claims to offer a free service that can “preserve one’s individual consciousness so that it remains viable for possible uploading to consciousness in a cellular regenerated or bionanotechnological body by future medicine and technology “. Smith facetiously questioned whether this offer would be followed by “longevity products”. [42]

In an August 16, 2009 blog post titled The “Imagination” of a Robot Cultist , rhetorician and technocritic Dale Carrico harshly criticized Rothblatt’s writings for promoting what he argues to be the pseudoscience of mind uploading and the techno-utopianism of the Californian Ideology . [43] In a February 28, 2010 blog post titled More Serious Futurology from Transhumanist Martine Rothblatt , Carrico criticized Rothblatt’s claims about digital technology and “mindclones” as being nothing more than wishful thinking . [44] In a June 5, 2010 blog post titledRothblatt’s Artificial Imbecillence , Carrico criticized Rothblatt for caring more about the rights of “virtual, uploaded persons” -who argue that they are neither possible nor more than the rights of actual human persons and some nonhuman persons, such as great apes and dolphins. [45]

In a July 4, 2010 New York Times article titled Making Friends with a Nina Robot Bina48 , journalist Amy Harmon described as frustrating but occasionally thrilling her conversation with one of “humanity’s first cybernetic companions,” BINA48 , created by Rothblatt and Hanson Robotics . She concluded it was “not that different from interviewing certain flesh and blood subjects.” [46]

In September 2017 Forbes Magazine named Rothblatt as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds of the past 100 years [47] . Special reference was made to her roles as “perpetual reinventor, founder of Sirius and United Therapeutics , and creator of PanAmSat .”


  • Radiodetermination Satellite Services and Standards , Artech House, 1987, ISBN  0-89006-239-0 ( Satellite Communications Technology)
  • Apartheid of Sex , 1995 ISBN  0-517-59997-X ( transgenderism )
  • Unzipped Genes , Temple University Press, 1997 ISBN  1-56639-522-4 ( Bioethics and Biopolitics )
  • Your Life or Mine , Ashgate, 2003 ISBN  0-7546-2391-2 ( xenotransplantation )
  • Two Stars for Peace , iUniverse, 2003 ISBN  0-595-65982-9 ( Middle East Peace Process )
  • Virtually Human , St. Martin’s Press, 2014 ISBN  1-250-04663-7 ( artificial intelligence )


Rothblatt is the executive producer of the following films:

  • 2B , Transformer Films, 2009. The film is a techno-thriller set in the near-future that deals with the moral issues confronting society following the creation of the world’s first posthuman .
  • The Singularity Is Near , Exponential Films, 2010. The documentary, based on Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity Is Near , is directed by Anthony Waller and stars Pauley Perrette .

See also

  • List of JD-MBAs
  • Two Stars for Peace solution


  1. Jump up^ Scott Powers (August 18, 2014). “Democratic candidate Gabriel Rothblatt believes in technology and Terasem” . Orlando Sentinel . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . The super PAC was founded and funded by his parents, Sirius Satellite Radio Founder Martine and Bina Rothblatt of Satellite Beach.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). “Martine Rothblatt is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America, She Was Also Born Male” . New York Magazine . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . Bina started her conversion to Judaism.
  3. ^ Jump up to:c “Martine Rothblatt Is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America.She Was Also Born Male.-New York Magazine” . .
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Anna Webber. “New York Magazine & The Cut Fashion Week Party” . Getty Images .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Eubios Ethics Institute (2 November 1996). “Human Genome Project and Bioethics News” . Retrieved 12 October 2016 . Martine Rothblatt, Mahon & Patusky Law Offices …
  6. Jump up^ “Transgender CEO who overcomes obstacles takes on limits of life” . September 24, 2014.
  7. Jump up^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). “Martine Rothblatt is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America, She Was Also Born Male” . New York Magazine . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . Martin Rothblatt was raised by observing Jewish parents in a working-class suburb of San Diego; his father was a dentist. His mother, Rosa Lee, says she always believed in her first child.
  8. Jump up^ Martine Aliana Rothblatt (May 1997). “Unzipped Genes: Taking Charge of Baby-making in the New Millennium” . pp. v . Retrieved November 22,2014 . To my parents Hal and Rosa Lee
  9. Jump up^ Space Studies Institute (September 1985). “Space Studies Institute” . THE HIGH FRONTIER® NEWSLETTER, VOLUME XI ISSUE 5 . Retrieved October 6, 2016 . Martin Rothblatt has been Vice President for Regulatory Affairs for Geost …
  10. Jump up^ Mark Lewyn (September 1996). “Space Case” . Wired Magazine . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . The Martine Rothblatt, 41, their new partner and a successful regulatory attorney in Washington, DC, for more than a decade.
  11. Jump up^ Space Studies Institute (September 1985). “Space Studies Institute” . THE HIGH FRONTIER NEWSLETTER, VOLUME XI ISSUE 5 . Retrieved October 6, 2016 . Martin Rothblatt was recently appointed to the SSI Board of Trustees …
  12. ^ Jump up to:Herper b , Matthew (April 22, 2010). “From Satellites To Pharmaceuticals” . Forbes . Retrieved September 8, 2014 .
  13. Jump up^ “Martine Rothblatt” . Retrieved October 5, 2016 .
  14. Jump up^ Mark Lewyn (September 1, 1996). “Space Case” . Wired . Retrieved November 28, 2016 .
  15. Jump up^ Nikhil Hutheesing (May 5, 1997). “Airship Internet” . Forbes . Retrieved November 28, 2016 .
  16. Jump up^ Steve G. Steinberg (November 1, 1997). “Updata” . Wired . Retrieved November 28, 2016 . In May, the FCC set aside the 47-GHz band for various earth-based communications services, which marked the first step in the company’s plan to float of 11-ton, 466-foot-long telecommunications platforms in the stratosphere.
  17. Jump up^ Andy Coghlan (2 November 1996). “Gene Treaty Promises Rewards for Unique Peoples” . New Scientist Magazine, Issue 2054 . Retrieved October 12, 2016 . The IBA’s law and medicine subcommittee, which Rothblatt chairs,
  18. Jump up^ Moukheiber, Zina (1 July 2002). “Jeni’s Oil” . Forbes . Retrieved 19 November 2015 .
  19. Jump up^ “Your Life or Mine” . Retrieved October 5, 2016 .
  20. Jump up^ Samantha Cowan (September 8, 2014). “America’s Highest-Paid Female CEO Is Transgender” . TakePart .
  21. Jump up^ “BGU Bestows Honorary Doctoral Degree on Biotechnology CEO and Satellite Technology Martine Rothblatt Pioneer” , Ben Gurion University May 2010 , 11 May 2010 , retrieved 29 December 2016
  22. Jump up^ “NEWS from Philosophical Hall” (PDF) . Autumn 2008 . Retrieved March 24, 2017 .
  23. Jump up^ “Watch the World’s First Manned Battery-Powered Helicopter Fly” . Fortune . October 31, 2016 . Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
  24. Jump up^ Hanley, Steve (November 1, 2016). “Martine Rothblatt Creates First Full Size Electric Helicopter” . Gas2 . Retrieved December 12, 2016 .
  25. Jump up^ Calderwood, Dave (October 3, 2016). “Electric R44 helicopter paves way for organ delivery” . Flyer . Retrieved December 12, 2016 .
  26. Jump up^
  27. Jump up^ Martine Rothblatt (2017-03-04), First ever two-person electric helicopter flight , retrieved 2017-03-24
  28. Jump up^ “The Trans-Everything CEO” . New York Magazine . September 7, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2016 .
  29. Jump up^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). “Martine Rothblatt is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America, She Was Also Born Male” . New York Magazine . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . They were from different worlds: Martin was a white JD-MBA; Bina, who is African-American, grew up in Compton and was working as a real-estate agent.
  30. Jump up^ “Beverlee Claire Prator” .
  31. Jump up^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). “Martine Rothblatt is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America, She Was Also Born Male” . New York Magazine . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . But they had a lot in common-starting with the fact that they were both single parents. Martin had a wife in Kenya on his way home from the Seychelles; The relationship had not worked out, but had produced a son, Eli, who was 3. Bina’s daughter, Sunee, was about the same age.
  32. Jump up^ Lisa Miller (September 7, 2014). “Martine Rothblatt is the Highest-Paid Female CEO in America, She Was Also Born Male” . New York Magazine . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . Soon they were living in the suburbs of Washington, in an apartment that was way too small. It was a hectic, happy time. The Rothblatts, now married, legally adopted each other’s children, and would soon have two more.
  33. Jump up^ “Martine Rothblatt, Trans CEO, Speaks Out On Controversial New York Magazine Cover” . The Huffington Post . September 19, 2014.
  34. Jump up^ “Terasem” .
  35. Jump up^ “From SiriusXM To Pig Cloning” . Forbes . June 22, 2016 . Retrieved December 7, 2016 .
  36. Jump up^ “The Custom-Made ‘Super PAC ‘ ” . New York Times. August 3, 2014 . Retrieved August 4, 2014 .
  37. Jump up^ Ledyard King (November 4, 2014). “Bill Posey easily wins fourth term” . Florida Today . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . Roth has also been helped by “Space PAC,” a super PAC solely funded by his parent, Martine Rothblatt, founder of Sirius Satellite Radio and CEO of the Maryland-based biotech firm, United Therapeutics.
  38. Jump up^ Jessica Roy (April 17, 2014). “The Rapture of the Nerds” . Time Magazine . Gabriel Rothblatt, a pastor at Terasem, photographed at the Terasem ashram in Melbourne Beach, Florida April 7, 2014
  39. Jump up^ “The Faith Terasem Faith that uses ‘mindfiles’ to store souls” . Daily Mail. April 19, 2014 . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . Gabriel Rothblatt, a pastor at Terasem and his creators Bina and Martine Rothblatt, was working as a restaurant manager until 2011 and is now running for Congress
  40. Jump up^ Jessica Roy (April 17, 2014). “The Rapture of the Nerds” . Time Magazine . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . Until 2011, Gabriel was a manager at a local pizza restaurant. Now, he spends most of his time running for Congress in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bill Posey this fall.
  41. Jump up^ “On Politics: Innocent question creates a bit of a stir” . Florida Today . October 17, 2014 . Retrieved November 22, 2014 . That led to the appearance of Rothblatt’s candidate financial disclosure statements. Rothblatt was a pastor and community organizer.
  42. Jump up^ Smith, Wesley J. (January 4, 2008). “Transhumanism Marketing” . National Review . Retrieved 2009-10-06 .
  43. Jump up^ Carrico, Dale (August 16, 2009). “The” Imagination “of a Robot Cultist” . Amor Mundi . Retrieved 2009-10-06 .
  44. Jump up^ Carrico, Dale (February 28, 2010). “More Serious Futurology from Transhumanist Martine Rothblatt” . Amor Mundi . Retrieved 2010-06-28 .
  45. Jump up^ Carrico, Dale (June 5, 2010). “Martine Rothblatt’s Artificial Imbecillence”. Amor Mundi . Retrieved 2010-06-06 .
  46. Jump up^ Harmon, Amy (July 4, 2010). “Making Friends With a Nina Robot Bina48” . New York Times . Retrieved 2010-07-04 .
  47. Jump up^ “100 Great Living Business Minds” . Forbes . Retrieved 2017-09-25 .

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