White House names space policy chief, sets commercial space as a top priority

Chirag Parikh, then-Microsoft Azure Space lead at Microsoft Corp., speaks during a discussion at the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / Chirag Parikh, then-Microsoft Azure Space lead at Microsoft Corp., speaks during a discussion at the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, DC. (credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On Monday morning, the White House named Chirag Parikh as executive secretary of the National Space Council. This is a key position within the space policy firmament of Washington, DC, as Parikh will have responsibility for suggesting and implementing executive space policy across the domains of military, civil, and commercial space.

With the announcement, the White House also said that Vice President Kamala Harris, who will serve as chair of the National Space Council, will host the first meeting of the council this "fall."

In background information provided about the announcement, the White House cited several top priorities for the space council, including climate change and advancing "peaceful" exploration programs with allies and partners. However, the first objective listed was, "Support sustainable development of commercial space activity."

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