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White House Nominates NASA Director As NRO Head

Chris Scolese, a long-serving member, the center director, as well as the acting administrator formerly of NASA, has been appointed by the White House to act the new director of National Reconnaissance Office.

Mr. Scolese from Goddard Space Flight Center was nominated by the White House on 7 February and if he gets the support of the Senate, he is most likely to be the successor of Betty Sapp. The past history of Mr. Scolese is pretty impressive which added credibility to his appointment. He was appointed as the director in Goddard in the month of March in 2012, following the resignation of Rob Strain who decided to move to Ball Aerospace.

He has also worked as an engineer in chief for NASA along with being the associate administrator. The post of the associate administrator is considered as the highest ranked civil position in NASA which led to his appointment in 2009 when Mike Griffin made an unceremonious exit from the agency after the tenure of President Bush ended. He remained in position for 6 months after which Charlie Bolden was appointed by the Senate.

Mr. Scolese has primarily worked in civil positions both at Goddard and NASA for a number of years. Prior to this, he was a US Navy officer mainly working on programs classified by the government as well as a civilian at the Department of Defense. He doesn’t have any considerable experience in national security, his nomination as the head of NRO is being aligned to the change in the thinking direction as the work will mostly include satellite reconnaissance for intelligence. This is not the first time that a NASA official has been chosen to lead the NRO though. Mr. Scolese can take inspiration from Hans Mark who had a similar course in his career and was also pretty successful in it.

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