Didi Kuo

National Reconnaissance Office
Chief Architect, Geospatial Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate

Dr. Didi Kuo is a Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service and the Chief, Architect for the Geospatial Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate (GEOINT), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Chantilly, Virginia.

Dr. Kuo graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. His first assignment was with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. He worked on modeling and simulation of neutral particle beam satellites for the Strategic Defense Initiative. In 1992, Dr. Kuo was selected as the Air Force Maui Optical Station Laser and Control Systems Project Manager, responsible for the integration of the Air Force’s largest telescope for satellite surveillance into the site.

After completing his Ph.D. in Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1997, Dr. Kuo was assigned to the NRO, where he worked on the development of advanced sensor technology as the payload manager for the Future Imaging Architecture. Upon graduating Air Command and Staff College in 2001, Dr. Kuo was assigned to the Space and Missile Center where he worked on both the Space Based Laser and Space Tracking and Surveillance System. During this time, he provided support to the Missile Defense Agency in the development of their highest priority space program.

Dr. Kuo attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2005 and then assigned to the Directorate of Space Acquisition in the Office of the Undersecretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon. He was the Deputy for the Space Control Division where he directed a multi-billion dollar portfolio of counterspace and space situational awareness programs. In 2008, Dr. Kuo was assigned to the NRO as the Director of the Electro-Optical Futures Group. In 2010, Dr. Kuo was appointed the Deputy Director of the Electro-Optical Systems Program Office where he managed the acquisition of over $10 Billion in imagery satellites. In 2012, the Air Force appointed Dr. Kuo as a Senior Materiel Leader. In 2015, Dr. Kuo retired at the rank of Colonel from the United Stated Air Force.

Dr. Kuo has been a member of the NRO Cadre since 2015 and has been developing the future GEOINT architecture and advanced satellite concepts. Most recently he has been asked by the Department of Defense to see how NRO systems can be more closely intergrated into future warfighter strategies.

Last updated on: November 27, 2023