John Stopher, principal assistant to the secretary of the Air Force for space, will leave his post on Wednesday to return to the private sector, SpaceNews reported Tuesday. He said in his resignation letter sent to President Trump that his new role would enable him to support industry in efforts to address the challenges in space in the future.
Stopher worked with former Air Force and 2019 Wash100 Award recipient Secretary Heather Wilson over the past few months to develop plans to establish the Space Force. He also managed the service’s space portfolio, procurement reforms and initiatives for its space workforce.
Stopher was named Air Force secretary’s space adviser in April 2018. Prior to that he served as deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for space and as director of the principal space advisor staff at the Pentagon. In May, Wilson presented Stopher with the Air Force’s Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.