Kennedy Steps Down As Space Development Agency Head—Report

The resignation of the director of the SDA (Space Development Agency), Fred Kennedy, came as a shock on June 19, when he filed his resignation with UDRE (Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering), Mike Griffin. Kennedy will be going back to the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) after tenure of less than 5 months as the SDA’s director.

As stated by Heather Babb, spokeswoman of the Defense Dept., they would shortly appoint new acting director of the agency. Dr. Kennedy’s stepping down was a surprise as he was chosen the director by Griffin himself. The unexpected stir came at an unsettled time following resignation of ADS (Acting Defense Secretary) Patrick Shanahan who had legitimately established SDA on March 12, 2019. Shanahan stepped down on June 18.

Griffin’s post was designated by Shanahan in the month of January, who recruited Kennedy to guide the organization of SDA. Kennedy had spoken eagerly at an event in Capitol Hill, on June14, on SDA’s plan of military purchasing satellites and space systems. Kennedy had also stated earlier, at a conference in Massachusetts, about his increasing optimism as the agency was to get the congressional support. According to some sources, Kennedy’s unexpected resignation might have come due to him and Griffin not coming to a full agreement on SDA’s functioning.

On the basis of DoD spokeswoman, Heather Babb’s statement to SpaceNews, SDA was not likely to be affected by Shanahan’s departure. There was no alteration to the activities or mission of the SDA and it would carry the Dept.’s future space design and would accelerate fielding and development of military space competence important to ensure agency’s military and technical gain for national security in space.

The SpaceNews was reported by many sources that SDA might fail to garner the kind of support it received from Shanahan and also there existed many groups which failed to visualize the true motive of the agency and considered it to be duplicative of purpose of other organizations in the AF.


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