It’s clear to me how much energy, excitement, and promise there is in our GEOINT Community at the moment. To be sure, this is always an exciting time around the USGIF office as we ramp up for another GEOINT Symposium, but in my 10 years at the Foundation, I’ve not sensed anything quite like the current intensity level related to geospatial intelligence.
In the last few weeks, we’ve had ongoing engagement with myriad members of our constituency, thanks to events such as the convening of our Awards and Scholarship Subcommittees to select this year’s awardees and scholarship recipients, respectively, to include the first award of the $15,000 K. Stuart Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship. We received record numbers of award submissions, scholarship applications, and a remarkable set of applications for our GEOINT Symposium Young Professionals Group (YPG) Golden Ticket Program. I can’t wait for you to meet the selectees and awardees in Tampa.
The history of our YPG is one of the features you’ll find in this issue of the magazine. We’re intensely proud of all YPG has accomplished, and continue to seek ways to expand its reach and impact. The USGIF Board of Directors, which includes two YPG members with full voting rights, enthusiastically supports the staff and YPG volunteer leadership as the group grows and evolves. Our commitment to YPG is an integral part of our “Build the Community” strategic pillar.
Our Collegiate Accreditation Program continues to strengthen, and our Academic Director Dr. Camelia Kantor is traveling to re-accredit existing programs and review new program applications. Currently, we accredit 13 colleges and universities here in the U.S. and one in Portugal. Nearly 900 students have earned a USGIF-accredited GEOINT certificate. I was reminded of how far we’ve come since the earliest days of the Foundation when we set out to interview this issue’s Perspective profile subject, NGA Director of Analysis Sue Kalweit. She has a long history of accomplishments both in and out of government service, and we at USGIF fondly recall her efforts more than a decade ago as a USGIF volunteer leading the establishment of our accreditation program.
This issue’s cover story is Managing Editor Kristin Quinn’s joint interview with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon. Kristin’s redux of the interview she conducted in 2013 with then-DNI Jim Clapper and then-Deputy DNI for Intelligence Integration Robert Cardillo offers useful insight into the perspectives of the two people at the helm of our Intelligence Community. I don’t think there’s any other publication that has the bona fides and the reputation to gain access and to present unique content such as this.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities presented during my first 10 years with USGIF. From our supportive volunteer Board of Directors, to our talented and effective professional staff, to our colleagues, members, and volunteers from academia, government, and industry, we have coalesced as a Community in the truest sense of the word.
A number of exciting initiatives, including our recent meet-up at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and our coincident launch of trajectoryXyzt—the innovation focused event we will host in Santa Monica, Calif., on September 19 and 20—assure me my future tenure at USGIF will be even more exciting and rewarding than the first 10 years. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity presented by trajectoryXyzt, as we bring the conceptual framework of GEOINT to the commercial sector and open up new and expanded opportunities for our current members while taking a thought leadership position across a broad swath of disparate sectors of the economy. This is a natural next step in the evolution of geospatial intelligence and the continuing maturation of USGIF.
I thank you all for the opportunity and urge your continued support of USGIF with your membership, sponsorship, attendance at our events, philanthropic donations, and volunteer time. Our collective efforts have produced results that far exceed the vision of USGIF’s original founders, and there’s simply so much more to do!
Headline Image: USGIF CEO Keith Masback addresses the crowd at USGIF’s meet-up at SXSW in Austin, Texas, March 12.