WASHINGTON — President Trump’s nominee to run the National Reconnaissance Office, Christopher Scolese, served in the Navy and worked as a DoD civilian but has spent most of his government career at NASA.
If confirmed by the Senate, Scolese would be the first political appointee to run the NRO. And he would be taking over the NRO amid a push by the administration to stand up a new military branch for space and develop closer ties between the Defense Department and the NRO.
“One of his challenges will be to figure out how the NRO, NASA and the Space Force will work together,” said Doug Loverro, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, who worked with Scolese on satellite programs.
“He is in a perfect position to do that because he won’t be viewed as someone from the intelligence side, or from the defense side,” Loverro told SpaceNews. “He can bring defense and intelligence closer together.”
Currently the director of the Goddard Space Flight Center — NASA’s largest — Scolese would come into the NRO with an outsider perspective. Since the secret spy satellite agency was created in 1961, most of its leaders have been former military officers ...