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  • Writer's pictureAmit Kukreja

Palantir Taps Former Air Force Reserve Assistant Shon Manasco

Palantir has hired Shon J. Manasco as a senior counselor to help consult on their growing government business.

Who is Shon Manasco?

From his biography,

Shon J. Manasco is the Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force. Appointed by President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Manasco is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, to include organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of approximately 685,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families worldwide. He oversees the Department’s annual budget of more than $205 billion and directs strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments and human resource management across a global enterprise. As the Under Secretary, Mr. Manasco is responsible for implementing decisions of the President and Congress, and fulfilling Combatant Commanders’ operational requirements.

From November 2017 to December 2020, Mr. Manasco served as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this role, he was responsible for the supervision of manpower, military and civilian personnel, Reserve component affairs and readiness support for the Department of the Air Force.

Mr. Manasco also performed the duties of the Under Secretary of the Air Force from December 2019 until he was nominated for the position of Under Secretary in May 2020.

Prior to November 2017, Mr. Manasco was the co–founder of a product design and engineering startup after having served as Executive Vice President at one of America's leading financial services companies.

Throughout his career in the private sector, Mr. Manasco held executive leadership roles in retail and investment banking, insurance and energy industries. He has led global teams across functional areas that include technology, digital design, cyber-security, corporate development, sales and service and human resources.

Mr. Manasco is a U.S. Army veteran, serving in numerous staff and leadership positions to support worldwide operational activities for joint special operations forces, including Detachment Commander at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Director of Finance for the Office of Military Support, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Manasco holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University.

Is This Good For Palantir?

In one word: yes. Hiring these senior ranking officials with prior experience in some of the most complex forms of government is great for Palantir because, well, they have a thriving government business in the US that they want to grow further.

Palantir's goal is to become the the US government's first software prime and 6th prime contractor writ-large. In order to do this, they need to win many contracts with the US government (which they have already done) that solidify them as the number one phone to ring when the government is looking to build out a new solution to a problem.

Let's just say, it really helps to move the needle on some of these contracts and strategetic angles to close deals when you have someone who was actually in the agencies you are trying to get contracts from that can help consult you on getting the deal done.

Hiring Shon is in line with Palantir's creation of the federal advisory board, where they also recruited high ranking officials in the USG to aid them in their pursuit of new contracts and overall strategetic vision in building their government business.

They explain,

"The Federal Advisory Board is comprised of national security experts with first-hand experience facing America's most urgent threats.

Their perspectives on today's defense, intelligence, and homeland security challenges enable Palantir to continue to meet the evolving and complex needs of our U.S. Government partners."

Overall, more people that can help Palantir get closer to landing deals in the government business because of their status and prior experience, more potential for Palantir to land major contracts and continue to grow their government revenues.

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