Gregory S. McNeal, JD/PhD
Professor of Law & Public Policy, Pepperdine University
Co-Founder, AirMap
Twitter: @GregoryMcNeal
Facebook: GregorySMcNeal

A high resolution headshot is available here.

Gregory S. McNeal, JD/PhD, is a tenured Professor of Law and Public Policy at Pepperdine University. He co-founded AirMap, a multinational corporation whose platform provides airspace information and services to drone operators, drone manufacturers, software developers and aviation stakeholders throughout the world, opening airspaces previously inaccessible to unmanned aircraft operations.  Dr. McNeal is an expert on topics related to emerging technologies including smart cities, IOT, autonomous vehicles and drones and holds an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate.  As an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Manager, he is also an expert on topics related to privacy and cybersecurity.

Dr. McNeal has on multiple occasions testified before Congress and state legislatures about the legal and policy issues associated with emerging technology and has aided state legislators, cities, municipalities, and executive branch officials in drafting legislation and ordinances related to technological advances. He served on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee, the Federal Aviation Administration’s UAS Registration Task Force, Aviation Rulemaking Committee, and the Remote Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee.

He is a nationally recognized commentator for Forbes, and a frequent keynote speaker at industry events and academic conferences related to technology, law, and public policy. He previously served as Chair of the Consumer Technology Association’s Industry Standards Working Group on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (R6 WG 23) and as a voting member of the ASTM technical committee creating scientific standards to govern unmanned aircraft and their operation.  He has advised venture capital firms and other investors, drone start-ups, sensor manufacturers, law enforcement, consulting firms, insurance companies, and Fortune 500 companies about the legal and regulatory issues and benefits associated with emerging technologies.


Advisory Work Related To Civilian Drones:

Dr. McNeal has testified before Congress and state legislatures about the legal and policy issues associated with drones and has aided state legislators, cities, municipalities, and executive branch officials in drafting legislation and ordinances related to drones.

Testimony Before the U.S. Congress

  • U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Homeland Security Committee
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Homeland Security Committee
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Judiciary Committee
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • U.S. Senate, Committee on Small Business

U.S. Federal Government 

  • Federal Trade Commission, Fall Technology Series
  • White House, Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • White House, Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • U.S. Department of Transportation, Drone Integration Pilot Program
  • U.S. Secret Service, Electronic Crimes Task Force

State and Local Testimony and Advisory Work Related to Emerging Technology

  • California Senate
  • City of San Francisco
  • City of Los Angeles
  • City of Seattle
  • Los Angeles County
  • Orange County

Association Advisory Work Related to Emerging Technology

  • Uniform Law Commission, Reporter for the Tort Law for Drones Act
  • Uniform Law Commission, Observer for the Highly Automated Vehicles Act
  • National Association of State Aviation Officials
  • National League of Cities
  • California League of Cities
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • Lieutenant Governor’s Association
  • National Governor’s Association

Notable Writing Related To Civilian Drones:

Dr. McNeal is currently writing a book about the emergent civilian drone market.  Some of his recent or forthcoming publications related to civilian drones include Drones and the Future of Aerial Surveillance in the George Washington Law Reviewand the Brookings Institution White Paper, Drones and Aerial Surveillance: Considerations for Legislators.

As a writer for Forbes he was the first person to break the story about the details of the FAA’s then unpublished notice of proposed rule-making for small unmanned aircraft, forcing the agency to call a hastily arranged Sunday press conference to formally announce the rule.  He also broke the story about the FAA’s granting of approval for Hollywood to use drones in filmmaking and was credited with influencing the National Park Service’s decision to issue a formal policy memorandum articulating the legal rationale for their ban on drones in national parks.

Keynote Speaker Related to Emerging Technologies:

Dr. McNeal is a sought after speaker at corporate events, industry conferences and academic conferences related to emerging technologies.  He also frequently appears on television and radio to discuss emerging technologies and related matters of law and policy.  He has been named one of the seven most influential people in drones, described as a prolific writer and an engaging media personality on the complex technical and legal challenges associated with new technologies.

His speaking engagements can be found here.


Writing Related to Security and Privacy: 

Dr. McNeal’s current security research includes a book focused on the investigation and prosecution of national security crimes (under contract with Oxford University Press), a book about targeted killings (grant funded), and the forthcoming treatise Cybersecurity and Privacy.  He is the co-author of the casebook Anti-Terrorism and Criminal Enforcement (with Norman Abrams), co-editor of the book Saddam On Trial: Understanding and Debating the Iraqi High Tribunal (with Michael Scharf).  His security related law review articles have been published by or are forthcoming in The Georgetown Law Journal (winner of an article of the year award), The Northwestern University Law Review ColloquyThe Washington and Lee Law Reviewand The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy among others.

Work Related to Security and Privacy:  

He is currently an academic member of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force.  He has testified before the House Foreign Relations Committee, and House Homeland Security Committee.  Previously, he served as assistant director of the Institute for Global Security, served as an advisor to the Chief Prosecutor of the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions on matters related to the prosecution of suspected terrorists held in the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and co-directed a U.S. Department of Justice counterterrorism grant program.  He has consulted with the Department of Defense on a range of issues, including helping to draft a manual aimed at reducing harm to civilians in conflict. Before becoming an attorney he served as an officer in the United States Army.


Dr. McNeal’s popular writing has appeared in publications such as The New York TimesThe Washington Times, and The Baltimore Sun.  He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, NPR (Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, OnPoint With Tom Ashbrook, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane), CBS Evening News (national), ABC World News Tonight (national), C-SPAN BookTV, and dozens of other local and national broadcasts.  He has been quoted by The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, and other newspapers and web magazines.

Professor McNeal is a Forbes contributor where he writes about law and public policy and is one of the nation’s top law professor bloggers based on the Law Professor Blog Traffic Rankings.  You can follow him on Twitter @GregoryMcNeal on Facebook at GregorySMcNeal, and you can sign up for his weekly email update list HERE.