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​Derek Tournear, shown at a Sept. 18, 2019, media roundtable held during AFA's 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., has been picked to be the Space Development Agency first permanent director. Defense Department photo.

Derek Tournear, acting director of the Space Development Agency, takes part in a media roundtable during the Air Force Association’s annual meeting in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 18, 2019.
Derek Tournear, acting director of the Space Development Agency, takes part in a media roundtable during the Air Force Association’s annual meeting in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 18, 2019.

​Derek Tournear, the Space Development Agency's acting director since June, will remain with the organization as its permanent leader, the Defense Department said in an Oct. 28 release.

Tournear is overseeing the new agency's effort to design new satellite and ground station layers that bridge the Pentagon's various space capabilities as well as improve on them.

He previously served as assistant director for space in the Defense Department's research and engineering branch, and came to SDA when its inaugural director abruptly left earlier this year.

“Our strategy is to unify efforts across the military services and government agencies to rapidly develop capabilities that are responsive to the threat, are cost-effective, and increase our technological advantage,” said Michael Griffin, under secretary of defense for research and engineering, in the release. “Derek will lead our effort to achieve those goals.”