Chris Shank, shown in this staff illustration, is joining the Pentagon to help lead the office that re-purposes existing technology for new missions.
The Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office introduces a new director.
Chris Shank, a former Air Force officer that has held several jobs in the the administrative and congressional branches of government, has been selected by Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin to take within the department’s SCO unit.
Griffin and Shank share a history. Shank served as director of strategic investments at NASA from 2005-2009, the same period Griffin ran the room agency. Per a recently uploaded Pentagon biography, he was in charge of the formulation and defense with the agency’s $17 billion price of programs and institutional budgets; he later took over legislative and public affairs for space agency.
After leaving NASA, Shank worked at Honeywell on development efforts for military, intelligence, civil and commercial space businesses. Afterward, he served about the staff of Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, before becoming policy director for your House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
In late 2016, Shank end up being the first person named to President Donald Trump’s transition team for NASA, after which spent 10 months serving as an adviser to Secretary from the Air Force Heather Wilson. He most recently spent almost a year being a second in command with Van Scoyoc Associates, a strategic consulting firm.
Although they share some DNA, the SCO’s mission differs from that in the Pentagon’s technology office, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Where the latter is centered on finding and prototyping the game-changing technologies for your future fight, the SCO is wanting to know current, existing needs and address them in new ways.
Shank becomes the next director for SCO, following exit of founding head Will Roper, who took within the top Air Force technology job.