USGIF hosted its first ever USGIF Working Group Summit Aug. 27 at the Foundation’s new, state-of-the-art Trajectory Event Center in Herndon, Va. Nearly 75 individuals attended to learn about the Foundation’s many initiatives across its eight working groups as well as its Tradecraft & Professional Development Committee.

Zach Jett and Roy Pettis from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) Acquisition, Procurement, and Facilities Office kicked off the summit with a keynote update on ODNI’s Acquisition Agility Strategic Initiative.

“Acquisition agility doesn’t mean I’m going to throw away all the things that have gotten us to a good place,” Pettis said. “But it does mean not every program is the same.”

ODNI’s Zach Jett.

Jett said the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has already created its own “acquisition agility playbook” that the ODNI team is adapting to an online, interactive guide for use across the Intelligence Community (IC).

Jett compared the concept to the use of assistive software such as TurboTax: “I don’t know how to do my taxes, but I do with TurboTax,” he explained. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same thing with contracting?”

The summit was a great opportunity for USGIF Working Groups to engage in cross-discipline brainstorming as well as to gather input from the larger GEOINT Community, according to USGIF Vice President of Programs Ronda Schrenk.

“The morning keynote set the stage for ongoing interaction against the backdrop of the implementation of new acquisition and procurement pathways across the Intelligence Community,” Schrenk said.

After the keynote, each Working Group had the opportunity to present a flash talk regarding its respective mission and activities. The talks were followed later in the day by workshop-style discussions and opportunities for smaller, breakout conversations.

Attendees shared feedback with USGIF Working Groups.

Many pathways for collaboration emerged from the discussions. For example, the NRO Industry Advisory Working Group and the Young Professionals Working Group discovered a common thread through which to partner. Additionally, the potential to expand the Small Business Advisory Working Group to the St. Louis, Mo., area was identified.

USGIF Chairman The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris shared a proposed charter for a new USGIF Working Group focused on intellectual property and data rights.

Harris pointed to the convergence of data and location, and said he believes the GEOINT industry, like the rest of the world, will soon experience a shift toward managed data subscription services.

“This group would focus on data ownership, use, and understanding,” Harris said.

The proposed group piqued the interest of several attendees, said Schrenk, adding that the Foundation will make a decision about whether to establish the new Working Group by the end of the calendar year.

Schrenk also said based on positive feedback that the Foundation would likely host similar events in the future.

“The summit generated great momentum for our Working Groups,” she said. “And it was a great turnout for USGIF’s first event at the Trajectory Event Center. As a result, several Foundation members are soon planning to host their own events here.”


Posted by Kristin Quinn