Autry Nomination for NASA CFO Approved by Committee

Autry Nomination for NASA CFO Approved by Committee

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved the nomination of Greg Autry to be NASA’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) this morning on a party-line vote. The top Democrat on the committee said she opposed the nomination because he would serve only for a short time and decisions on NASA’s budget should wait until the next Administration is in office.

Greg Autry (photo from his LinkedIn page)

The brief committee meeting also approved two other Trump nominations, one to the FCC and another at the Department of Commerce, all on party-line votes.

The nominations still must be voted on by the full Senate.

Political appointees must submit their resignations when the president who appointed them leaves office, so if he is confirmed, Autry will have to submit his resignation on January 20. Incoming presidents do not have to accept such resignations, but they usually do.

That does not apply to positions with fixed terms, like FCC commissioners, one of the reasons Nathan Simington’s nomination to the FCC is particularly controversial.

Autry would succeed Jeff DeWit, who resigned as CFO in February 2020. The post has been filled on an acting basis by NASA civil service personnel since then, first by Melanie Saunders, Deputy Associate Administrator, and since September by Stephen Shinn, Deputy CFO.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Commerce Committee, explained Democratic objections to Autry’s nomination.

We’re also voting on Dr. Greg Autry for the position of Chief Financial Officer of NASA for approximately 50 days. The NASA CFO develops and executes a budget of over $22 billion. And again, I think the decisions on priorities for the money should be left to the next administration.

Autry is Vice President of Space Development for the National Space Society and a member of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC).  A former assistant professor in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, he is the author of “Death by China.”

During his November 10 nomination hearing, Autry pointed to his involvement in the space program since researching his PhD thesis in 2003 that explored governmental influence on industry emergence within the space context.  He argued that the “payback has been huge” from expenditures on the space program and “America can afford to have a future.”  He promised that, if confirmed, he will work “to ensure that the funds required to build that future are wisely spent and accounted for in accordance with the appropriations of the United States Congress.”

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.