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James Kirkhope Named Chief of DOD’s Space Domain Awareness Branch

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James Kirkhope, a consulting and research professional with more than 25 years of government and industry experience, has been appointed to serve as chief of the Department of Defense’s Space Domain Awareness Branch. 

In this role, Kirkhope oversees science and technology personnel in Virginia and Florida tasked with discovering and characterizing adversary space systems and analyzing their capabilities and modes of employment, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Kirkhope most recently served as an operations manager and defense planner assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Global Integration Directorate and as a senior officer at the National Space Defense Center.

He initially joined the Pentagon in 2010 as a supervisor and threat management coordinator for U.S. Transportation Command, a role he held for more than eight years.

Prior to joining the U.S. military, Kirkhope served as an executive director at the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs and vice president for research, development and planning at the Terrorism Research Center.

From 2008 to 2010, Kirkhope provided consulting services to a variety of organizations through his private consultancy.

Kirkhope holds a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University, and a master’s degree in political science from Columbia University.

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