NGA to Reveal New Acquisition Approach at GEOINT 2018

Agency plans unprecedented level of engagement for Tampa event


The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) intends to unveil a new approach to acquisition at GEOINT 2018, according to agency deputy director Justin Poole.

Poole spoke last week at USGIF’s GEOINT 2018 Sneak Peek breakfast about what technologies and capabilities NGA will be looking for as well as what the agency plans to showcase at the Symposium—to be held April 22-25 in Tampa, Fla.

NGA Deputy Director Justin Poole speaks to attendees at USGIF’s GEOINT 2018 Sneak Peek breakfast.

Among the Government Pavilion panel discussions NGA is scheduled to host in the exhibit hall will be a discussion led by Poole on NGA’s pending acquisition restructure.

“I’m looking forward to sharing with you and the Symposium crowd a new approach I’m taking to acquisition,” Poole told the Sneak Peek audience, adding that much thought went into what to do with the agency’s component acquisition executive (CAE) role. With Poole now appointed CAE, “we’re overhauling it,” he said.

Agency Attendance

NGA is slated to send 260 employees to the Symposium, the most ever, with the exception of GEOINT 2015, which took place in Washington, D.C. Each NGA representative will be assigned certain booths to visit, and Poole said each booth would receive at least one visitor from the agency.

“We have 75 folks from the local team in Tampa attending,” Poole said, adding employees from around the globe, including Denver, Austin, Belgium, and Australia would be in attendance as well. “We’ve also put the word out to NSG members in uniform in the Tampa area that they can attend the Symposium and GEOINT Foreword for free.”

Poole recalled how earlier in his career he was unable to attend the GEOINT Symposium. While the week of the Symposium was quiet at NGA, he and his colleagues would brace for the week after, when those who attended would return energized and with long lists of people to call and meetings to set up. He cited that “vibe” as consistent with the event year after year, and as one of the reasons the agency continues to grow its Symposium presence.

“All NGA employees who attend will be filling out a report on their engagement in the exhibit hall to report back to leadership,” Poole said. “That information will be consolidated and used to facilitate further engagements.”

  • To learn more about GEOINT 2018 or to register, visit

General Session

On Monday, April 23, NGA Director Robert Cardillo will give a keynote address during the GEOINT 2018 general session. According to Poole, the director plans this year to emphasize the blend of art and science that makes GEOINT so special.

Government Pavilion Presentations

The agency will host a total of five panel presentations on the Government Pavilion Stage, including Poole’s discussion of acquisition reform. Associate Director of Operations Maj. Gen. Linda Urrutia-Varhall, will lead a discussion titled, “The GEOINT Operational Mindset in a Multi-lateral World.” Ellen Ardrey, the agency’s associate director for support, will lead panel on “GEOINT Training Standards.” Dr. Anthony Vinci, the agency’s newly appointed chief technology officer, will host a panel titled, “From Data to AI.” Dustin Gard-Weiss, NGA’s associate director for enterprise, will host a discussion on “Challenges and Opportunities of Operationalizing the Enterprise.”

Training Sessions

NGA will host three GEOINT 2018 training and educations sessions:

A Seminar on ABI, SOM, and Modeling intended for junior- to mid-level analysts or anyone interested in learning more about NGA’s analytic methods; Government Business 101 for businesses new to the government contracting world, small business leaders, entrepreneurs, and students; and Crowdsourcing & Citizen Convergence for Disaster Relief & Recovery in partnership with GEOHuntsville.

The NGA Booth

 NGA plans to showcase stories, experts, and some of its newest initiatives in the exhibit hall, according to Poole. The agency’s schedule of booth events will be posted on its website soon, and is expected to include kiosk demos, a recruiting station, an industry interaction station, and speaker spotlights.

The speaker spotlights are intended to be industry-focused discussions with NGA personnel and to provide opportunities for direct Q&A. Potential topics to be featured include an introduction to NGA’s new Office of Ventures and Innovation, CRADAs, public-private partnerships, and the nascent Data Corps program.

“If you’re on the fence [about attending the Symposium,] it’s definitely worth it,” Poole said. “It’s great to be around that many colleagues who show a passion for GEOINT.”


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