U.S. Export-Import Bank. Credit: House Minority Whip

WASHINGTON — The White House has nominated three additional people to serve as directors of the Export-Import Bank, including one with experience in the satellite industry.

The White House announced Sept. 15 the nominations of Kimberly Reed to serve as first vice president of the bank, as well as Claudia Slacik and Judith Delzoppo Pryor to serve as members of the board. They join Spencer Bachus and Scott Garrett, two former members of Congress, who were nominated to the board earlier this year.

If all are confirmed by the Senate, they would fill out the five-member board, which currently has only two positions filled. The lack of a quorum prevents the board from approving deals valued at more than $10 million. That has hindered the Ex-Im Bank’s ability to support satellite and launch financing packages, a role that it had increasingly taken up in recent years.

Of the newest nominees, Pryor is the most familiar with the space industry. Most recently a vice president at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, she previously worked as senior vice president for corporate affairs at Worldspace, a company that offered a satellite radio service in parts of Asia and Africa. She also worked in marketing communications positions at Comsat and Orion Network Systems.

Reed was president of the International Food Information Council Foundation and a senior advisor to two former Secretaries of the Treasury, Henry Paulson and John Snow. Slacik was the former chief banking officer at Ex-Im Bank and nominated to the Ex-Im board in the final weeks of the Obama Administration, only to have that nomination withdrawn shortly after President Trump took office.

The newest nominees have the support of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), which has long advocated for filing vacant positions on the bank’s board so that it can approve large aviation and space financing deals.

“For far too long, the Bank has been languishing without a quorum of at least three members on its Board, unable to fulfill its mission or process transactions exceeding $10 million, and we urge [Senate Banking Committee] Chairman [Mike] Crapo (R-Idaho) to schedule hearings on these nominees as quickly as possible,” David Melcher, president and chief executive of AIA, said in a Sept. 18 statement.

Melcher added in his statement that while the AIA also supports the previous nomination of Bachus to the Ex-Im board, it does not support the nomination of Garrett, who was a noted critic of the bank as a member of Congress.

“AIA continues to oppose the nomination of Scott Garrett as Chairman of the Ex-Im Bank due to his stated opposition to the Bank’s mission and we urge President Trump to withdraw his nomination,” Melcher said in the statement. “Aerospace companies — small, medium and large — need a Chairman and a full slate of Ex-Im Board members who will bolster American export sales opportunities that lead to job growth here at home.”

Amanda Critchfield, spokesperson for the Senate Banking Committee, said Sept. 19 that the committee had yet to schedule confirmation hearings for any of the Ex-Im board nominees.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...