Changing Planet

The Drone Lawyer: DJI Global’s new Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, which profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels.

DJI, the world leader in innovative aerial technology, announced that drone policy expert Brendan Schulman will join the company as its Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs starting today.

 

Photo © Wolf Levenson
Brendan Schulman joins DJI Global as its Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs. Photo Courtesy © Wolf Levenson

 

Mr. Schulman, often known as “The Drone Lawyer,” is one of the country’s most prominent advocates for clear and reasonable civilian drone regulations. His leadership in the industry includes representing individuals and organizations in landmark civilian drone cases and establishing the country’s first unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) legal practice group.

One of the most widely-quoted thought-leaders on the many policy and legal issues surrounding civilian drone operations, Mr. Schulman draws on over 20 years of experience with aerial technologies. In a key initiative last year, he proposed to the Federal Aviation Administration the creation of a risk-based micro UAS category for the operation of lightweight drones for commercial and other applications.

“The next few years will be critical in setting the direction for unmanned aerial regulations, so we need a policy executive who shares our vision for UAS operation that is both accessible and safe,” said Frank Wang, CEO and founder of DJI. “Brendan is the perfect fit to drive forward this vision which will enable our customers to expand the use of aerial technology for creative and innovative purposes.”

“As the leader in the unmanned aerial space, DJI has set the standard for how this new technology is used,” said Mr. Schulman. “I am excited to join their passionate team and to work together with lawmakers, industry groups, and customers to find solutions to emerging policy questions and to open up the benefits of drone technology across industries.”

This announcement comes at a time when drones are receiving increased attention for their positive applications, including recent rescue operations in Maine and Texas in which aerial technology was used to save the lives of stranded flood victims.

Earlier this month, the Bard College Center for the Study of the Drone released an analysis of the first 500 federal exemptions for commercial drone use in the United States, showing over half of the country’s commercial drone operators use DJI platforms.

 

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Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos. Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others. Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe. You can travel to Colombia with Kike: www.colombiaphotoexpeditions.com

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