Stephen Kitay worked for the Department of Defense as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy until his departure in August 2020. In that role, Kitay “[was] responsible for establishing policy and guidance to assure U.S. and allied warfighters the benefits of space capabilities and to help guide the Department’s strategy for addressing space-related issues,” according to a department biography. Kitay has “been a central player in pitching the Pentagon’s Space Force proposal to congressional committees,” according to Space News.
In September 2020, Kitay joined Microsoft’s cloud-computing division, Azure, to serve as the senior director of Azure Space. Microsoft’s Azure project is an effort to process data collected by satellites in space and to increase cloud connectivity via satellite. In September 2019, the Defense Innovation Unit chose Azure to build “agile cloud processing capabilities in support of the U.S. Air Force’s Commercially Augmented Space Inter Networked Operations (CASINO) project,” a project to process large amounts of data collected by satellites. Corporate vice president of Azure, Tom Keane, touted Kitay’s long career in the Air Force, Pentagon, and on Capitol Hill, calling Kitay’s insights “instrumental to Microsoft efforts in space.”
A Microsoft biography adds that, “Kitay co-leads Microsoft’s efforts to connect Azure with the space sector,” and that, “he had a key role in the establishment of the U.S. Space Force.”
Kitay has “been a central player in pitching the Pentagon’s Space Force proposal to congressional committees,” according to Space News.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy,