WASHINGTON — President Trump’s nominee to run the National Reconnaissance Office, Christopher Scolese, received a warm reception Wednesday from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during his confirmation hearing.
Scolese was most recently the director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who is not a member of the intelligence committee, came to the hearing to introduce Scolese and praise his record as the head of NASA’s largest center.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told Scolese that he supports his nomination and plans to ensure it is considered “without delay.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Scolese would be the first political appointee to run the NRO. And he would be taking over the organization amid a brewing debate on whether the administration’s proposed Space Force should be combined with the NRO.
Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) noted that the intelligence committee specifically added the confirmation requirement for NRO directors to “ensure robust and effective oversight of our nation’s overhead intelligence satellite programs.” He said this requirement also reflects the importance of the NRO as a “key member of the intelligence community.” Warner said Scolese’s experience and approach make him “the right fit for ...