Christopher Scolese

Christopher Scolese
Christopher J. Scolese official photo.jpg
Director of the National Reconnaissance Office
Assumed office
August 5, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byBetty J. Sapp
Director of Goddard Space Flight Center
Assumed office
March 5, 2012
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
DeputyGeorge Morrow
Preceded byRob Strain
Acting Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
In office
January 20, 2009 – July 17, 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyLori Garver
Preceded byMichael D. Griffin
Succeeded byCharles Bolden
Personal details
Christopher Jon Scolese

(1956-07-21) July 21, 1956 (age 64)
Buffalo, New York[1]
Alma materState University of New York at Buffalo
The George Washington University
AwardsNASA Distinguished Service Medal

Dr. Christopher J. Scolese is director of the National Reconnaissance Office.[2] He was appointed the 19th Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (DNRO) on August 1, 2019.[3] Scolese was sworn into office on August 5, 2019.[4]

The DNRO provides direction, guidance, and supervision over all matters pertaining to the NRO and executes other authorities specifically delegated by the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence.

Scolese began his government career as a United States Naval Officer in 1978, supporting a variety of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programs for the U.S. Navy and the Department of Energy.[3] He served on active duty until 1983, and then in the Navy Reserve until 1991, retiring as a lieutenant.[1]

In 1987, following a brief period of service working in government and industry, Scolese joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) where he was assigned to the Goddard Space Flight Center, located in Greenbelt, Maryland. During this period, he served in a variety of senior management positions including; Earth Observing System (EOS) systems manager, EOS Terra project manager, EOS program manager, and deputy director of Flight Programs and Projects for Earth Science.

In 2001, Scolese was assigned to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he served as the deputy associate administrator in the Office of Space Science. In this position, he was responsible for the management, direction and oversight of NASA's Space Science Flight Program, mission studies, technology development and overall contract management of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In 2004, Scolese went on to become the deputy director, Goddard Space Flight Center, where he assisted the director in overseeing all activities, before returning to Washington, D.C. to become NASA's chief engineer in 2005. As chief engineer, he was responsible for ensuring all development and mission operations were planned and conducted on a sound engineering basis. In 2007, he was appointed the associate administrator, responsible for the oversight and integration of NASA's programmatic and technical efforts. And from Jan. 20 2009 - July 2009, Scolese served as NASA's acting administrator, responsible for leading the development, design and implementation of the nation's civil space program.

In 2012, Scolese went on to serve as the director, Goddard Space Flight Center, where he led the nation's largest organization of scientists, engineers and technologists responsible for building spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study Earth, the Sun, the Solar System, and the universe. On July 31, 2019, he retired from NASA to become the NRO director.[3]

Dr. Scolese holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in electrical and computer engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York (1978); a master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (1982);[5] and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (2016).[1] He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2015.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Questionnaire for Completion by Presidential Nominees" (PDF). U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. April 30, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  2. ^ Foust, Jeff (February 8, 2019). "NASA center director nominated to lead NRO". SpaceNews. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Dr. Christopher Scolese" (PDF). National Reconnaissance Office.
  4. ^ Blinde, Loren (August 8, 2019). "Dr. Christopher Scolese sworn in as new NRO director". Intelligence Community News. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "2015 Inductees". GW School of Engineering & Applied Science. Retrieved September 17, 2017.

External links

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