USGIF Arthur C. Lundahl - Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award

2024 Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

USGIF is pleased to announce Kevin O'Connell as the 2024 Arthur C. Lundahl—Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award.

His most recent government role was Director of the Office of Space Commerce within the Department of Commerce. He was the principal architect of outreach to U.S. private space companies to facilitate innovation and encourage increased market growth and viability. He focused on the growing role of the private sector in space, encouraged new international space partnerships, worked to ensure the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space industry, and advanced American leadership in space safety and sustainability. 

O’Connell’s other government assignments have included the Department of State, the National Security Council, the Office of the Vice President, and the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence. He also served as the Executive Secretary of the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in 2000, and later as an advisor to the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He was a long-standing member of NOAA’s federal advisory committee, ACCRES, including serving as Chair between 2012 and 2016. While at the Department of Commerce, he played a key role in modernizing the commercial remote sensing regulations designed to encourage American innovation and shape global markets.  

Within the private sector, O’Connell was a senior research analyst at RAND and was the first Director of RAND’s Intelligence Policy Center. In 2007, he founded Innovative Analytics and Training, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in assessing high-tech market areas including geospatial technology, cloud computing, and cyber analytics. Today, he runs Space Economy Rising, an advisory firm focused on strategy and finance for companies in the space sector. He regularly speaks around the world on trends in the global space economy.   

The Arthur C. Lundahl-Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award is presented, upon nomination and vote by the USGIF Board of Directors, to an influential member of the geospatial intelligence community who has dedicated much of his or her life's work to the tradecraft.

This distinguished award recognizes contributions made by both Arthur C. Lundahl and Thomas C. Finnie, and celebrates their accomplishments-in imagery analysis and mapping, respectively-and their legacy within the GEOINT Community.


Arthur C. Lundahl

Art Lundahl is known as the "father of modern imagery analysis and imagery intelligence" for his work as the founder and first director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC). Under Lundahl's leadership, NPIC's role to support the CIA's deputy director of intelligence transformed the center into a national-level component of the Intelligence Community, and demonstrated image intelligence as a prime strategic and tactical resource worldwide.


Thomas C. Finnie

Thomas C. Finnie's career with the U.S. government began in 1937, practicing engineering and surveying with the Department of Agriculture. In 1962, he assumed the position of technical director for the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center in Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, and was one of the initial eight Department of Defense planners who assisted in organizing the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in 1972. Later, Finnie became DMA's director of management and technology. DMA consolidated the broad disciplines of mapping, charting, and geodesy, and helped to promulgate its evolution to digital geospatial information. Finnie was one of the primary architects of DMA's evolution to a digital era.