Among the many decisions National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director VADM Robert Sharp has made since assuming his new position was whether the agency would once again make a strong commitment to USGIF’s annual GEOINT Symposium.
According to William Caniano, director of NGA’s Office of Corporate Communications, Sharp determined the agency would continue to send as many personnel as possible to the event upon learning how valuable the Symposium is to NGA and its workforce. As such, 265 NGA representatives will attend GEOINT 2019, to be held June 2-5 in San Antonio, Texas.
“We are very excited about the GEOINT Symposium this year,” Caniano told the audience at USGIF’s GEOINT Symposium Sneak Peek event in McLean, Va., April 23. “This one is going to be exciting for us with a new director.”
“VADM Sharp is full of energy,” Caniano continued. “In his GEOINT 2019 keynote, he intends to talk about his perspective on the existing NGA strategy.”
Sharp has embraced the four pillars of the agency’s current 2025 strategy and will put his own spin on them, which he intends to introduce for the first time at the Symposium, Caniano added.
In addition to a new director, NGA has welcomed many leaders into new positions since GEOINT 2018, including: Maj. Gen. Charles Cleveland as associate director for operations; Jennifer Daniel as associate director for enterprise; and Dr. Cynthia Daniell as director of research. All three are scheduled to speak on the Government Pavilion Stage in the GEOINT 2019 exhibit hall.
Also taking place on the Government Pavilion Stage, Christy Monaco, chief ventures officer with NGA’s Office of Ventures and Innovation, and David Gauthier, NGA’s director of Commercial GEOINT Solutions, will discuss “Harnessing Innovation through Industry Partnerships.”
According to Monaco, Gauthier will share recent evolutions related to NGA’s commercial GEOINT activities and role as a GEOINT “broker.” And she will provide updates on NGA Outposts and agency partnerships, including its new Partnership Intermediary Agreement with the Missouri Technology Corp. in St. Louis, Mo.
“[The agreement is] a new approach to partnering with industry and academia to address not only NGA’s GEOINT needs but also to find ways to partner so companies can leverage the know-how, data, and technology NGA has decades of experience with for commercial purposes,” Monaco said.
Sandra Auchter, NGA’s deputy associate director of capabilities, will participate in a Government Pavilion Stage panel discussion titled, “Bringing the Future into Focus,” which she said will also touch upon the four pillars of the NGA strategy.
Auchter also gave a glimpse into a panel on big data that will include agency CTO Mark Munsell and NGA Chief Data Scientist Dr. Andrew Brooks, who will share elements of the agency’s new data science strategy.
“Our partners are looking to NGA to provide a way forward for how the agency is dealing with [vast amounts of] data,” Auchter said.
The final session of the week will focus on agile acquisition. Kevin Meiners, deputy director of national intelligence for enterprise capacity with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will kick-off the segment with a keynote address, followed by a panel discussion among NGA acquisition experts.
In conclusion, Caniano said NGA representatives will visit every booth in the GEOINT 2019 exhibit hall and use a reporting mechanism to share observations on the latest technology and trends.
Ahead of the event, NGA will also publish a list of “hard problems” that speak to the future of the agency.
“There will be people out there in addition to visiting each of the booths who will be looking at ways to solve these hard problems,” Caniano said.
Headline Image: From left to right, Auchter, Monaco, Caniano, and USGIF VP of Programs Ronda Schrenk.