Defense policy chief John Plumb to step down in May


WASHINGTON — Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb will be stepping down in May, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed March 29.

Plumb is leaving his post two years after being confirmed as the first assistant secretary of defense for space policy, a position that Congress established in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

In a statement, a spokesperson confirmed that Plumb “announced to his team his intent to depart in early May,” but did not elaborate further.

Plumb’s portfolio includes space policy but also nuclear weapons, cyber, missile defense, electromagnetic warfare and countering weapons of mass destruction.

Confirmed in 2022

Plumb, a former Aerospace Corp. executive, was nominated by President Biden in July 2021 and confirmed by the Senate in March 2022.

Most recently, Plumb has overseen the drafting of a commercial space integration strategy. “It’s an exciting time for innovation in space and there’s major opportunities for the department to leverage,” he said.

With regard to space security, Plumb has worked on efforts to develop “norms of behavior” in the space domain, and has voiced concerns about China’s and Russia’s developments in anti-satellite weapons. 

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense…

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