Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin and his deputy Lisa Porter submitted letters of resignation to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on June 23 and plan to leave their posts by July 10.
Esper in a June 24 statement praised Griffin and Porter for advancing “critical work on the department’s modernization priorities” and for leaving behind a “legacy of excellence in the research and development of technology that ensures American military advantage on land, at sea, in the air and in space.”
The departure of senior political appointees is not unusual in the months preceding a presidential election. In a joint email to DoD staff, Griffin and Porter said they leaving because a “private-sector opportunity has presented itself to us.”
But the timing of the resignation has stirred questions inside the Pentagon and in the space industry about what it portends for the future of the Space Development Agency, a 15-month-old organization that Griffin pushed hard to get stood up and he characterized as a “personal cause.”
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