Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), a non-profit organization launched in 2002 with a mission to advocate for the deployment and development of a missile defense system. Since its founding, the organization has grown to over 10,000 members across the world and has emerged as the preeminent player in the missile defense community.
The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance has commissioned two memorials; one at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California dedicated to President Ronald Reagan, and one at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii that will serve as an eternal memorial for Kauai’s armed service veterans and a missile defense viewing site for tests from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance has also played important roles in facilitating discussions and education regarding missile defense both domestically and internationally.
Founder and President – Riki Ellison
Mr. Ellison’s passion for missile defense began while attending the University of Southern California, where the concept of making nuclear weapons obsolete by missile defense technologies was embedded. Mr. Ellison was further inspired by President Reagan’s 1983 speech on the Strategic Defense Initiative. Mr. Ellison earned a degree in international relations with an emphasis on defense and strategic studies. Ellison was a linebacker for the Trojans’ football team, winning the 1979 and 1980 Rose Bowls along with the 1978 national championship.
He was then drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and began advocating for missile defense during all of his off-seasons of his 10 year professional football career in the NFL. Mr. Ellison’s first professional work began on the Exo-atmospheric Reentry Interceptor (ERIS) in 1984, the nation’s second successful missile intercept by use of kinetic energy. Ellison won three Super Bowl championships with the 49ers and achieved All-Rookie, All-Madden and Alternate All-Pro during his years in the NFL.He played his final three years in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders, retiring in 1992.
Mr. Ellison was an early advocate of missile defense and a pioneer in the field, having championed the cause for the past 25 years to raise awareness and educate the public of this important issue. Widely recognized as an expert among his peers in the field of missile defense, Mr. Ellison is frequently sought after for his expertise by administration and military officials, congressional members and policymakers. He has been featured and cited as an authority on this topic in many major national and international news media outlets.
In 2005, Mr. Ellison founded the Youth Impact Program for disadvantaged, poverty-stricken and at-risk adolescent boys in our nation’s inner-cities. The program places them in an educational setting for five weeks, exposing them to academics, life skills and athletics in a University setting. The program provides the boys with clothing, food and permanent mentors who track and support the young men year-round. The Youth Impact Program is now in four major cities – Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, and Tampa – and has twice been recognized by the United States Congress in Congressional Resolutions for its achievements, innovation and impact.