Derek Tournear, who works as Mike Griffin’s assistant director for space at the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, is recently named as the acting director of Space Development Agency (SDA). Reportedly, he will serve this position until the permanent appointment for the director position. Tournear’s appointment, effective from this week, comes about five days following the resignation by Fred Kennedy, ex-SDA Director.
In a statement, Heather Babb, Spokeswoman, Pentagon, said that Tournear is now supposed to be dual-hatted. In the present situation, he will continue in his present position as the assistant director for space within the office of the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. Same as Kennedy, previously, Tournear worked at the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Tactical Technology Office. He also worked at the Strategic Technology Office. He bags experience of directing a huge portfolio of programs with a focus on space and sensors.
On a similar note, by October 2019, the Defense Department is supposed to be assuming accountability for background inquiries for the U.S. Government personnel and contractors. These inquiries will be aimed at looking for the numerous security clearances needed to do their jobs.
At present, the Office of Personnel Management carries out all those investigations via its National Background Investigations Bureau. However, the language in the financial year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act notified the government to shift this responsibility for the lion’s share of those inquires over to the Defense Department. As per one senior defense official, approximately 4.2 Million individuals from the government contractors and federal government are cleared for access to the secret and above information. Approximately 3.6 Million of those individuals are DOD contractors or employees. In April 2019, a presidential executive order additionally directed that all of the investigations should be done by the DOD.
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