Farewell and thank you to Dr. Max Baber
Welcome to the first issue of trajectory for 2016. I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and had some time to reflect and reset for the New Year. Just prior to digging out from “Snowzilla,” USGIF finished leading the effort to produce our second annual State of GEOINT Report. The report offers the opportunity to both reflect on trends of the past year and reset goals to help address issues we face as a GEOINT Community.
The 2016 report includes 40 authors from government, industry, and academia contributing 14 insightful articles on myriad topics including analysis, deep learning, and collaborative intelligence. The State of GEOINT Report is meant to be a conversation starter. It is an avenue for the GEOINT Community to raise questions, call attention to issues, and share perspectives on where our Community is headed. I encourage you to visit USGIF.org to download this year’s report and also to share it broadly with your colleagues.
The diverse perspectives shared in the report are representative of the wide-ranging topics we cover in trajectory, at our events, on the web, and via social media. As we manage the final edits to each issue, I appreciate the topics we’ve covered, and lament the tremendous number we’ve yet to go after. In this issue, Matt Alderton tackles the topic of critical infrastructure protection, highlighting the role of GEOINT in effectively planning for and executing that important mission. Managing Editor Kristin Quinn takes on the difficult task of defining how the defense and intelligence communities are reshaping information technology to facilitate data sharing with IC ITE, JIE, DI2E, and more. Her comprehensive examination chronicles the success of these efforts to date and paints a picture of what lies ahead. We asked Kristin to do this with regard to commercial imagery in our very first issue. She nailed it then, and I think she’s done it again here. While fact checking this article, one senior official remarked it was the most clear and concise articulation of the path forward they had seen. I look forward to your thoughts and comments on both of these features.
Speaking of difficult tasks, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Dr. Max Baber has moved on from USGIF, with an eye toward returning to teaching, after six successful years leading our academic programs. When I joined USGIF, it struck me that we lacked a dedicated staffer with requisite bona fides to engage effectively with academia and GEOINT-related organizations in the academic world. We hired Max to further fulfill our mission as an educational foundation. Under Max’s stewardship we accredited nine collegiate GEOINT programs, bringing the total number to 12—with many more in the pipeline. Additionally, Max managed the selection process for almost $1 million in scholarship awards. He helped grow a small, pre-symposium gathering into the content-rich and very popular GEOINT Foreword. Max’s efforts have opened the door for the GEOINT Community to work more closely with academics, and in many cases changed minds about the work we do as a Community. We all owe Max our sincere appreciation for his dedication to the GEOINT mission.
Max’s efforts will directly impact our profession for many years to come as students who have attained our GEOINT Certificate move into the workforce. Further, this year’s GEOINT Foreword is shaping up to be another phenomenal gathering preceding the May GEOINT 2016 Symposium in Orlando. We hope to see you at GEOINT 2016 where we’ll gather to learn and grow professionally, network with colleagues, visit more than 275 exhibiting organizations, and engage in meaningful discussions about this year’s theme: “The GEOINT Revolution.”
Of course we hope to see you at one of our other events early this year, which will include GEOINTeraction Tuesday, a data analytics workshop, and a GEOINT Symposium preview with NGA leadership. We also look forward to the ongoing growth of USGIF as a professional association, as we will soon eclipse 1,000 individual members.
I look forward to seeing you in our halls or at one of our events sometime soon. Best wishes for a productive and innovative 2016.