A Sense of Purpose and Focus

Dealing effectively with the challenges and uncertainties of the future


On behalf of USGIF and the GEOINT Community, I would like to thank the Honorable Jeffrey Harris for his many years of service and dedication to the Foundation. The USGIF Board of Directors and staff express our tremendous gratitude and respect for all that he has done to further the USGIF mission. We will carry the torch forward and maintain the Foundation’s dedication to building the community, advancing the tradecraft, and accelerating innovation.


Dr. L. Roger Mason Jr.
Interim Chair, USGIF Board of Directors

vir·tu·aladjective: almost or nearly as described—carried out, accessed, or stored by means of a computer… or in the case of April 2020, occurring or existing primarily online.

Today, the GEOINT Community with its unblinking eye on mission realizes we must deal effectively with the challenges and uncertainties of the future. Work has begun to engage and productively network and align our collective thinking to help NGA develop the 2035 GEOINT CONOPS; STRENGTH THROUGH COMMUNITY. This will enable the GEOINT Community to provide distinctive insights with clarity, objectivity, and independence in support of our nation. This requires the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence to assess, collaborate, and improve on interoperability and agility to deliver the most impactful GEOINT support. 

As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” This is where the differentiating strengths of diverse thought and debate come together to formulate the right skills, technology, and processes to prepare for future challenges while meeting the increased and rapid demands for enterprise GEOINT. In March, three focus groups aligned in virtual roundtable format to engage the GEOINT ecosystem by gathering a cross section of industry, academia, geography/locations, expertise, seniority/rank, and thought leadership to identify a list of core capabilities and organizational changes that will need to be transformed.

Collaborating with subject matter experts is a core strength of the USGIF ecosystem. We recognize that there is always someone smarter, there is always someone more innovative, there is often someone organizationally senior, and, we recognize when to engage with the competition. This means that we must each be leaders and strive to be the best at connecting people. Socially intelligent people understand that the best problem-solver is a strong network.  Cross-domain collaboration can also pique the interest of team members to pursue learning possibilities, which will enhance their skill set. 

Through our GEOConnect Series platform, working groups, workshops, and problem-solving sessions, we will continue to advance community building, scholarship, and tradecraft. We leverage the skills of our volunteers who give of their time and talents to advance our community. 

To quote Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, U.S. Army (Ret.), following a 2035 CONOPS session on March 31, “It was inspiring to be included in such a great and accomplished group of SMEs—certainly a great deal of work ahead, but what is clear is that there is no shortage of brilliant minds thinking about it for this great organization!”

The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris
Former Chair, USGIF Board of Directors

Posted in: Vantage Point   Tagged in: 2020 Issue 1, Innovation

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