Release
Immediate Release

Space Development Agency Director Announced

Oct. 28, 2019

The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the selection of Dr. Derek Tournear as the first permanent director of the Space Development Agency. 

Established in March, the Space Development Agency is responsible for unifying and integrating the Department’s space development efforts, monitoring the Department's threat-driven future space architecture, and accelerating fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space. To achieve this mission, SDA is defining the National Defense Space Architecture—an integrated, coherent architecture capable of addressing the eight critical, yet unmet, priorities of the DoD Space Vision.

To address these eight priorities, the future National Defense Space Architecture will include a proliferated satellite constellation consisting of six space layers and one ground layer. SDA will orchestrate and unify those efforts across DoD, and fill capability gaps while ensuring an integrated architecture.

“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,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Dr. Michael Griffin. “Derek will lead our effort to achieve those goals.”

Dr. Tournear most recently served as the Assistant Director for Space under OUSD(R&E). He 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, and as a Program Manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He also has professional experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory and spent time working in research and development for industry. Dr. Tournear has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and a B.S. from Purdue University.