NGA at GEOINT 2018

Agency to have heightened attendance and participation across all Symposium events


The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA, booth 719) is attending GEOINT 2018 en masse, with the goal to highlight the agency’s combat support and emerging commercial capabilities.

The agency sent approximately 260 personnel from around the globe to the Symposium, the most ever, with the exception of GEOINT 2015, which took place in Washington, D.C. Each NGA representative arrived with active learning assignments, a list of booths to visit, and the task to report back following the event. Each booth at GEOINT 2018 should receive at least one NGA visitor, deputy director Justin Poole said in March.

NGA Director Robert Cardillo will deliver a keynote address Monday at 11:45 a.m., discussing the importance of exploring the GEOINT profession as both an art and a science, emerging commercial partnership opportunities, and the agency’s increasing combat support efforts. Former NGA Director Letitia Long, a member of USGIF’s Board of Directors, will moderate his remarks.

Government Pavilion Presentations

The agency will host or participate a total of six presentations on the Government Pavilion Stage in the exhibit hall.

NGA Associate Director of Operations Maj. Gen. Linda Urrutia-Varhall will lead a discussion Monday titled, “GEOINT Ops in a Multi-lateral World.”

Scot Currie of NGA Acquisition will participate in a panel Monday afternoon on “GSA and CIBORG.” Currie said he intends to provide an update on where the agency is at with regard to its CIBORG contract vehicle, which was still a concept at GEOINT 2017.

“Now we’re making it work,” Currie said, noting 66 vendors have been recruited to date and counting.

“[CIBORG] is going to be the first place we look as we expend our resources during the course of years,” he said. “I’m trying to incentivize companies to consider becoming a part of this so we can understand what their offerings are and better understand what the commercial opportunities are in the community and apply those against our potential missions.”

Also on Monday afternoon, Ellen Ardrey, the agency’s associate director for support, will moderate a panel titled “Beyond Training: GEOINT Skill and Knowledge Transfer.”

Ardrey said her panel would take a progressive look at training, with an eye toward knowledge and skill transfer moving forward.

“How are we going to prepare a workforce in an environment where the technology, tradecraft, and methodologies are evolving so quickly that traditional training—by the time you build a training course and launch—it’s a bit obsolete,” Ardrey said.

She believes the solution is a collective approach, which is reflected in the variety of panel participants from academia, industry, government, and beyond.

“I’m going to ask each panelist to talk about what competitive advantage they believe their segment has in the training domain and how they can leverage the other segments … so we can build training that will satisfy the greater enterprise need,” Ardrey said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Anthony Vinci, the agency’s newly appointed chief technology officer, will moderate a panel titled, “From Data to AI: How Does NGA Work with Industry to Get to the Future?”

Vinci said geospatial intelligence is on the edge of a “fourth wave” as it is poised to make the shift to operationalizing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision.

“Those who are interested in the future of the agency’s technology as it relates to AI and automation, this is the primary forum to discuss that topic,” Vinci said.

Also on Tuesday afternoon, Dustin Gard-Weiss, NGA’s associate director for enterprise, will moderate a session on “Operationalizing the Global GEOINT Enterprise.”

On Wednesday afternoon, NGA deputy director Justin Poole will lead a panel of agency acquisition leaders in a discussion of “NGA’s Acquisition Restructuring.”


On Tuesday afternoon, NGA will host a panel in Room 18 titled, “Anything as a Service Update.” NGA’s Melissa Planert will moderate, and be joined by NGA Analysis’ Sue Kalweit, Brent Lines, Yvonne Mahabir, and Alberto Valverde.

In the Exhibit Hall

NGA is showcasing stories, experts, and some of its newest initiatives at its booth in the GEOINT 2018 exhibit hall. The agency’s schedule of booth events includes kiosk demos, a recruiting station, an industry interaction station, and speaker spotlights.

Kiosk demos will include Holomap, GriD, small UAV virtual reality, captured maps from WWII, GEOWorks, IC GIS Portal, CIBORG, and NOME. Industry interaction station events will focus on small business, OTAs, CRADAs, the eNGAge program, and more.

Speaker spotlights are intended to be industry-focused discussions with agency personnel and to provide opportunities for direct Q&A. Spotlights will feature: Christy Monaco, chief ventures officer; Amber Nightengale, deputy of NGA Outposts, Gregory Black, senior GEOINT authority for commercial imagery & services; Andy Brooks, chief data scientist; Andy Spage, GEOWorks Lead; and Gauthier.

NGA will also present three lightning talks Monday afternoon and two Tuesday afternoon at the new Innovation Corner (Booth 1751) in the exhibit hall.

Training & Education Sessions

NGA will host three GEOINT 2018 training and educations sessions: Government Business 101 Monday afternoon for businesses new to the government contracting world, small business leaders, entrepreneurs, and students; A Seminar on ABI, SOM, and Modeling Tuesday afternoon intended for junior- to mid-level analysts or anyone interested in learning more about NGA’s analytic methods; and Crowdsourcing & Citizen Convergence for Disaster Relief & Recovery Wednesday morning in partnership with GEOHuntsville.

Feature image: photo credit NGA


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