The Commercial Spaceflight Federation has hired Alexander Saltman, a doctorate-level physicist working as legislative director for U.S. Rep Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), to serve as executive director, the Washington-based industry group announced Nov. 3.

Saltman is replacing John Gedmark, the federation’s founding executive director, “who is departing to pursue a new opportunity,” the announcement said.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is still searching for a new president following the resignation of retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Craig Steidle, who stepped down in September following a heart attack.