On May 1, 2021, senior officials with President Biden’s administration confirmed that Vice President Kamala Harris will become the new leader of America’s National Space Council.
Originally established in 1989, the National Space Council was inactive for more than 20 years, before being opened again by the Trump administration in 2017. The organization, among other things, helps the president to develop strategies regarding space activity and national security space.
An Honor to Serve
As reported in a current article on the CNN website, Ms. Harris stated on Saturday that she is honored to be leading the National Space Council.
According to one senior Biden administration official, the vice president’s personal priorities include cybersecurity, promoting commercial space travel, workforce diversity and STEM educational programs.
When President Trump reestablished the National Space Council, it was by executive order, and for the time being, the organization will continue to function under that executive order. Former Vice President Mike Pence was most recently leading the space agency.
A New Style of Leadership
Vice President Harris will likely have her own agenda, and approach to her position, said one government official. This official believes that Harris will focus more on job accomplishment, rather than putting on big displays.
While leading the National Space Council is an important position, Vice President Harris is already busy with immigration issues, and making high-speed Internet more accessible. The space organization is very important to President Biden, and he is confident that Ms. Harris is the right person to head the agency.
On May 3, 2021, Harris conducted the swearing-in of former Florida Senator Bill Nelson as the new NASA Administrator.
Interacting With NASA
Since becoming vice president, Kamala Harris has interacted with NASA personnel several times. In February, she talked with astronaut Victor Glover, and in March she spoke with astronauts Kate Rubins and Shannon Walker, in commemoration of Women’s History Month.
Although the National Space Council has not yet held a formal meeting since Vice President Harris assumed leadership of the organization, it is expected that the group will be meeting soon.
The National Space Council is still, however, in search of a presidentially appointed, civilian executive secretary.