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Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Space Development Agency announces new director

© Department of Defense
Derek M. Tournear

Department of Defense (DoD) officials announced Monday the selection of Derek Tournear as the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) first permanent director.

“Our strategy is to unify efforts across the military services and government agencies to rapidly develop capabilities that are responsive to the threat, are cost-effective, and increase our technological advantage,” Michael Griffin, under secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, said. “Derek will lead our effort to achieve those goals.”

The Space Development Agency is responsible for unifying and integrating the DoD’s space development efforts, officials said, monitoring the threat-driven future space architecture while accelerating the fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure technological and military advantages in space.

Prior to his selection as the Space Development Agency’s leader, Tournear served as the assistant director for Space under OUSD (R&E) and previously served as the senior scientist for space activities and space technologies in the Office of Smart Collection at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The future National Defense Space Architecture will include a satellite constellation consisting of six space layers and one ground layer. SDA will orchestrate and unify those efforts and fill capability gaps while ensuring an integrated architecture.