Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin has had a tumultuous time since taking over as undersecretary of defense for research and engineering in February.
In his role as the Defense Department’s chief technology officer, Griffin has been criticized for his efforts to overhaul the Pentagon’s costly and time-consuming development and procurement of new systems through the newly established Space Development Agency (SDA).
Key personnel have departed as critics have attacked Griffin for what they view as his erratic management and decision making. In addition to SDA, he is in charge of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU).
President elect Donald Trump has appointed Christopher Shank to the NASA transition landing team. Shank was most recently the policy and coalitions director for the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and was formerly deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). He also served as NASA’s director of strategic investments and chief of strategic communications under President George W. Bush.
Mark Albrecht, who had been reportedly involved in the NASA transition, was been added to the landing team for the Department of Defense.
Shank’s LinkedIn profile is below.
Christopher Shank LinkedIn Profile
Policy and Coalitions Director House Science, Space, and Technology Committee January 2013 – Present (3 years 11 months) Washington D.C. Metro Area
Directs the Committee’s legislative and hearing agenda for broad portfolio of issues ranging from energy and environment/climate change, space exploration, and various research and technology initiatives across five subcommittees, engaging 22 Science Committee Members of Congress, in coordination with House Leadership.
Deputy Chief of Staff Congressman Lamar Smith March 2011 – Present (5 years 9 months)
Senior Director, Space, Networks, and Communications Business Development Honeywell Aerospace November 2009 – March 2011 (1 year 5 months) Washington D.C. Metro Area
Assistant Group Supervisor Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory February 2009 – October 2009 (9 months)
Director of Strategic Investments and Chief of Strategic Communications NASA April 2005 – January 2009 (3 years 10 months)
Senior agency official responsible for directing strategic messaging across all NASA mission directorates, program offices, and field centers. Directed 120-person NASA HQ staff including 10 senior executives responsible for $150 million/year education portfolio, legislative and intergovernmental affairs, and NASA public relations/special events.
Key member of NASA’s Management Councils with other Headquarters Officials-in-Charge, Associate Administrators, and Center Directors
Responsible for formulating and defending NASA’s annual budget requests and operating plans of $18 billion to the White House and Congress. Led 30-person HQ office, with hundreds more people in matrix support across agency.
Professional Staff Member House Science Committee April 2001 – April 2005 (4 years 1 month)
Officer US Air Force May 1990 – March 2001 (10 years 11 months)
University of Colorado Boulder M.S., Aerospace Engineering 1995 – 1996
University of Notre Dame B.A., Mathematics 1986 – 1990