Michael A. Fopp
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Michael A. Fopp is the Director General of the Royal Air Force Museum.
Michael Fopp is the son of an Australian Battle of Britain fighter pilot. He grew up surrounded by aeroplanes, but left school to follow a childhood dream of riding horses professionally. He was a member of the Mounted Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police for over 10 years. Those years were spent leading major ceremonial celebrations, quelling riots and other public disorder and generally enjoying himself as a young man on a big white horse walking the streets of Britain’s capital city. All this ended when he was seriously injured by rioters in 1979.
During his Police career he had lectured and written about aviation history and, almost immediately after his hospitalisation joined the Royal Air Force Museum as Keeper of the Battle of Britain Collection in 1979. In 1984 he was awarded a Masters Degree by City University London for whom he was a visiting lecturer in Management Studies for 9 years. In 1985 he was appointed Director of the London Transport Museum. He returned to the Royal Air Force Museum as Director in 1988 and finished his thesis "Museum & Gallery Management" gaining his PhD in 1989.
He is currently the Director General of the RAF Museum’s three sites, all of which have expanded significantly during his tenure. Michael is an aviation historian (RAF History 1936 - 1955), not-for-profit management specialist and information technologist. He is a Warden of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Museums Association, Council Member of The Air League and holds both Commercial and Instrument ratings for single engined aircraft.
He spends his spare time flying a Lancair aircraft which he built himself over a period of 8 years. Apart from his demanding professional commitments and active leisure time he maintains an enthusiasm and deep interest in computers, computer programming and the future technologies associated with these interests – he is also a keen chef and model racing yacht skipper. He writes prolifically and his book “Managing Museums & Galleries”, published by Routledge, was the first book to provide the reader with museum/gallery specific solutions to management problems. He is currently working on an academic study of the home-built aircraft movement. He is an active member of The Air Squadron, the Light Aircraft Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association. He is married to Rosemary who is also a Private Pilot and has one son who is a serving officer in the Royal Air Force.
Michael Fopp will formally stand down from his position as Director General of the Royal Air Force Museum in June 2010
In 2011, he was given an Award of Doctor of Science honoris causa by City University London.