Ian has 17 years’ experience creating and executing a diverse portfolio of creative projects for corporations, startups, nonprofits, government agencies and universities. He began his career at Federal City Communications in Washington D.C., a small PR firm specializing in media relations and public affairs for the aerospace and defense industries. From 2001 to 2004, his clients included the X PRIZE Foundation, SpaceX, Space Adventures, Zero G and the Lindbergh Foundation. In 2002, he worked on the recreation of Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight by his grandson Erik Lindbergh. The following year, he managed publicity for the roll-out of the Falcon 1 for Space X outside the FAA and National Air & Space Museum and designed the PR strategy for the launch of the first privately operated zero gravity commercial airline. In late 2004, Murphy publicized the first three privately funded flights to space by SpaceShipOne to win the $10m Ansari X PRIZE. During this period, he produced more than 7 billion traditional print and broadcast impressions for his clients.
In January of 2005, he went in-house to become the head of PR for the X PRIZE Foundationwhere he would spend the two years building and managing all aspects of the organization’s communications activities. This included producing the first podcast from recorded from space for Anousheh Ansari during her visit to the ISS in September of 2006 the launch of the largest medical prize in history later that year. Murphy also managed PR for the X PRIZE Cup, Rocket Racing League and the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge before departing X PRIZE to re-build his own firm in 2007.
From 2007 to 2010, Ian built his own marketing and events company WMP Consulting where his clients included Space Florida, NASA KSC Visitors' Complex, Rocket Racing League and E-Green Technologies. His projects included a 100,000 person Air Show at NASA KSC called World Space Expo, the SpaceX Groundbreaking Ceremony for their Florida Launch Complex and the first inflation test of the world's largest airship.
Ian joined the USC Stevens Center for Innovation in 2010 where he promoted commercially viable, early stage technologies emerging from a $650M/year research program at the University of Southern California, as well as developed numerous innovation and entrepreneurship programs and competitions. Also in this role, he served as the lead organizer and executive producer of the world’s first TEDx conference (TEDxUSC), a first of its kind, 1200-person, progressive ideas conference and interactive technology village modeled after the TED conferences.