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Space X Investor Trae Stephens Announced as Member of Trump Transition Team

Nov 28, 2016 06:04 AM EST
The New York Times 2015 DealBook Conference
Stephens appointment to the transition team came as no surprise because of his connection to Trump supporter Peter Thiel.
(Photo : Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

The office of US President-elect Donald J. Trump has announced that Founders Fund Principal Trae Stephens will join its transition team for the Department of Defense. Stephens will join Trump's so-called landing team.

As part of the defense transition team of the Trump administration, Trae Stephens, will give a hand in making policies and screening Defense Department staff. He, however, will not take a position in the incoming administration, Bloomberg reports.

From the data analytics company Palantir Technologies, Inc., Stephens moved to Founders Fund, where he "focuses on startups operating in the government space," according to his website profile. One of the many startups supported by the fund, Palantir Technologies first offered its services to the U.S. intelligence community.

Founders Fund is a San Francisco-based venture capital fund founded in 2005 by billionaire investors - including Trump supporter, Peter Thiel. According to an article by SpaceNews, it said that Founders Fund was the first venture firm to put its bet on Elon Musk's Space X, with a $20 million investment into the company in July 2008. This was followed by a $50 million round November 2010 and the $1 billion round in January 2015 led by Google and Fidelity. Although Founders Fund has kept mum on questions about how much its share on SpaceX is, the fact that its partner co-founder Luke Nosek has secured a seat on Space X's board of directors gives a hint.

Stephens appointment to the transition team came as no surprise because of his connection to Trump supporter Peter Thiel, the billionaire who, aside from Founders Fund and Palantir Technologies Inc., also co-founded PayPal and a director at Facebook Inc. The first and most important Trump supporter from Silicon Valley, Thiel said he hopes the Trump administration will focus more on the country's defense rather than wars abroad.

The Trump administration has been hard at work in completing its landing team. However, as of the latest, November 28, it has not yet made official if a member from NASA will be a part of it.

 

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