New Mexico Congresswoman Challenges the Geospatial Intelligence Community at USGIF 2005 Speaker Series Event

New Mexico Congresswoman Challenges the Geospatial Intelligence Community at USGIF 2005 Speaker Series Event

July 25, 2005

OAK HILL, Va. – The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) recently continued its successful 2005 Speaker Series with a dinner featuring Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM). The Series helps Foundation members focus on enhancing the value of GEOINT to warfighters and policymakers by presenting compelling speakers who address budgetary, technical, operational, and other facets of intelligence from the user’s perspective.

Congresswoman Wilson, the only female veteran serving in Congress, chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s (HPSCI) Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence as well as serving on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She told the packed house at the Phoenix Park Hotel that while the technology has come a long way from the Cold War — the Intelligence problems of today are much more difficult with the need for actionable intelligence growing more critical.

“Geospatial Intelligence is the foundation of other disciplines,” said Wilson. “By investing in cross-disciplinary innovations, you create an enabling system that makes data more useful.”

Wilson stressed that warfighters and policymakers alike have a dire need for actionable intelligence, which often relies on GEOINT as a foundation. She also discussed the need to find good people and improve “inadequate and uncoordinated” research and development (R&D) efforts in government and industry by identifying the most difficult intelligence problems and investing in pathfinding research to address these problems.

Wilson left the audience with a reminder that the geospatial intelligence community’s work is extremely important to the War on Terror as it will be won, “through the bravery of our soldiers and the quality of our intelligence.” She called for strong collaboration among government entities, from intelligence agencies to service labs, and recognized the value of clearer communication between intelligence users and the organizations developing solutions.

The USGIF Speaker Series, which has been ongoing for more than a year, provides USGIF members and other members of the GEOINT community with a valuable education and networking forum. Past speakers have included U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, chairman, HPSCI; Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, USAF (Ret.), director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Mike Swetnam, CEO, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies; and Lt. Gen Keith Alexander, U.S. Army, deputy chief of staff, G2, Army Intelligence, who was recently nominated by the President to serve as director of the National Security Agency (NSA).

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation is a Virginia-based nonstock, not-for-profit corporation. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger community of interest between government, industry, academic and professional organizations and individuals who share a mission focus around the development and application of geospatial intelligence data and geo-processing resources to address national security objectives. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.usgif.org

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