The White House has named a former director of space policy at the National Security Council as the new executive secretary of the National Space Council.
The White House announced that Chirag Parikh will be the executive secretary of the council, responsible for its day-to-day activities. The council is chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Parikh was director of space policy at the National Security Council from 2010 to 2016, a time when the space council was inactive. He joined the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2016, serving positions such as deputy director for counterproliferation.
Parikh left the NGA in early 2020 to join Microsoft, where he was senior director of Azure Space, the company’s effort to extend its cloud computing platform to space applications.
Donald Trump reinstituted the Space Council, which by law is chaired by the Vice President. Scott Pace was the Space Council’s Executive Secretary throughout the Trump/Pence term. President Biden decided to keep the Council and Harris now chairs it.
The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) applauded the nomination and SIA President Tom Stroup said the association looks forward to working together on “maintaining a sustainable and safe space environment while promoting cybersecurity, climate change, STEM and other initiatives that are vital for the commercial satellite industry.”
Stroup added: “His previous service as director of space policy in the National Security Council combined with his executive experience at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency make him an ideal choice to assist Vice President Harris to oversee the day to day operations of the Council. Thanks to innovation and decreased costs, the commercial satellite industry is growing at a tremendous pace and we applaud the administration’s appointment of Mr Parikh.”
The National Space Council is under the White House, and it is the principal unit for space commerce policy activities.