John L. Simson, Executive Director of SoundExchange, has been involved in the music industry since his 1971 signing with Perception Records as a singer/songwriter. His career has included a ten-year partnership in Studio One Artists, managing country superstar Mary Chapin Carpenter (1988-1995), Steve Forbert (Geffen), Jonell Mosser (MCA), Mike Henderson (RCA) and others.
Simson has been active in the Washington, D.C. arts community for years. He was one of the founders of the Washington Area Music Association and served as its first President (1985-1990). Simson has also served as Vice President of the Steering Committee of the D.C. Bar’s Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Section and as a Board member and Legal Counsel to the Songwriters Association of Washington.
Simson was elected President of the Washington, D.C. chapter of NARAS (Recording Academy) in April of 2004. He was elected to the Recording Academy Board of Governors in 1997 for the Washington, D.C. chapter, and served three years as a National Trustee of the Academy (1997-2000). Simson has also served on the Board of the Alliance of Artists and Record Companies (AARC), the Washington Area Music Association, Institute For the Arts In Science Education, Inc., Video Culture, Inc., the Takoma/Silver Spring Thunderbolts and the 20th Century Consort. He is a member of the Folk Alliance, the Country Music Association and an alumnus of Nashville’s “Leadership Music.”
Simson is currently an adjunct professor of Entertainment Law at American University’s Washington College of Law, and taught Entertainment Law for two semesters at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. He has also taught Criminal Procedure at Temple University’s School of Criminal Justice, Free Press/Fair Trial at the American University School of Criminal Justice and has lectured frequently on entertainment law and business.