Michael D. Gallagher is president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers.
Mr. Gallagher joined ESA in 2007. Under his leadership, the association is transforming the perception of video games by demonstrating the influence of entertainment software on areas of daily life such as education, health and the workplace. Mr. Gallagher also manages ESA’s outreach to federal and state government officials, helping to foster a vibrant operating environment for the video game industry and serving as the industry’s voice on issues including intellectual property, content protection and e-commerce.
In 2011, Mr. Gallagher spearheaded the video game industry’s defense of its First Amendment rights in the U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. EMA/ESA. The ruling struck down a 2005 California law that would have regulated the sale and rental of computer and video games based on their content and affirmed that games are expressive works entitled to the same constitutional protections as other forms of entertainment and art.
Mr. Gallagher frequently appears as the public face of the industry at various events and regularly serves as an expert resource for major media outlets, including CNN, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, C-SPAN’s “The Communicators,” NBC News and CBS News.
He previously served as the chief telecommunications and internet policy advisor for the Department of Commerce’s Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. Mr. Gallagher has also held leadership positions at Perkins Coie LLC, Verizon Wireless, and AirTouch Communications.
Mr. Gallagher holds degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Guildhall at Southern Methodist University and Spectrum Bridge, Inc., and serves on the Boards of Directors for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences as well as the Publishing Advisory Board of Sesame Street.