Peter Marquez, director of space policy for the White House National Security Council, stepped down Sept. 27 to pursue new opportunities. Marquez, who was appointed to the post in 2007 by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, played a central role in shaping U.S. President Barack Obama’s new national space policyissued by the White House in June.

“Leaving the White House grounds for the last time. Just turned in my badge. Been a great 3 years. Let’s see what’s next,” he said in a Twitter post Sept. 27.

Marquez, 34, said he hand- picked his successor, Chirag Parikh, an aerospace engineer with 13 years of experience working for the U.S. Air Force and in the U.S. intelligence community.

Parikh will be responsible for drafting a plan to implement the new space policy and for updating House policy guidance on space transportation, commercial remote sensing and GPS.