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Biden Nominates NRO Veteran/Booz Allen Official as Space Acquisition Executive

By | December 20, 2021

Booz Allen Hamilton executive Frank Calvelli is Pres. Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration. Photo: Booz Allen Hamilton Photo

President Biden on Dec. 15 nominated Booz Allen Hamilton executive Frank Calvelli, who served as principal deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from 2012 to 2020, as the assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration.

This year, Calvelli joined Booz Allen’s national security program where he works on space and intelligence issues.

In Calvelli’s profile on the Booz Allen website, Calvelli says that the United States needs “to stay vigilant against threats to our space systems from other countries by improving space domain awareness and maintaining strong cyber protections.”

“We also need to eliminate slow and inefficient large-scale software development efforts across the industry,” according to his profile. “Switching to smaller, faster, and more agile development programs will help us meet the need for shorter development timelines. Applying big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to the space domain will allow us to create systems and programs that are more secure and cost-efficient than before.”

Before joining Booz Allen Hamilton, Calvelli had a 34-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including more than 30 assigned to the NRO.

As principal deputy director at the NRO, Calvelli provided daily management of the organization and “oversaw a large portfolio of space activities that included satellite and ground system acquisition, systems engineering, and satellite mission operations,” according to his biography on the White House website.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has been keen to have an assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration in place as the U.S. Space Force’s service acquisition executive (SAE) before the Oct. 1, 2022 date specified in the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Lawmakers adhered to Kendall’s wishes, as Section 905 of the final fiscal 2022 NDAA allows Kendall to make the new assistant secretary the SAE for the Space Force before Oct. 1.

This article was first published by our sister outlet Defense Daily.