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First Woman To Lead Major Intelligence Agency

 BETHESDA, MD.—The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency today welcomed Letitia A. Long as its director at a ceremony at the future home of GEOINT, currently under construction at Fort Belvoir’s North Area in Springfield, Va.

Speaking of her new role as the NGA Director, Long said, “I am excited by the opportunity to continue to serve our nation not only alongside NGA’s outstanding and dedicated professionals but also with our partners and colleagues that span the U.S. Intelligence Community, the international community, academia and industry.”

Noted guest speaker Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert M. Gates, “The impact this organization has on our nation and our men and women in uniform is real and profound. Apart from a critical role in our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, in recent months NGA has also been working with other departments to provide a common operating picture in Haiti following the earthquake there, track the oil spill in the Gulf and monitored the ash clouds from the volcano in Iceland, just to name three.”

“The hard work of NGA professionals has enabled decision makers at all levels of government to make informed choices on the full array of national security challenges,” added Gates.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. noted, “We are witnessing history with Tish’s (Ms. Long’s) ascension as the first woman to serve as director of a major intelligence agency.”

The Director of NGA serves as both the DNI’s principal advisor and the Intelligence Community's functional manager for geospatial intelligence.

Said outgoing director Navy Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett, “It’s always been about our people, our mission and our work with others outside of our organization.” Noting the Agency’s progress Murrett said, “NGA has continued to grow in effectiveness and impact, a product of many years of steady growth in mission continuing to fuse and be the world experts in imagery, imagery intelligence, and mapping, charting and geodesy with the whole much greater than the sum of its parts.”

Long began her federal civilian career with the Navy in 1978 as a project engineer in training with the David Taylor Research Center. Upon completion of her degree in 1982, she continued with David Taylor Research Center for six years working on various submarine acoustic sensor programs. In 1988, she joined the staff of the Director of Naval Intelligence where she managed Intelligence Research and Development programs.

Long was selected into the Senior Intelligence Executive Service in July 1994 and was dual hatted as the Director, Requirements, Plans, Policy and Programs for the Director of Naval Intelligence staff as well as the Director of Resource Management for the Office of Naval Intelligence. From 1994 to 1996, Long was on rotational assignment from ONI to the Defense Intelligence Agency as Director of Military Intelligence Staff Director. In 1996, she joined DIA as the Deputy Director for Information Systems and Services where she directed DIA’s worldwide information technology and communications programs. She was also DIA’s first Chief Information Officer.

She also served in the positions of Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence from July 2000 to June 2003 and the Director of Central Intelligence’s Executive Director for Intelligence Community Affairs, responsible for community wide policy formulation, resource planning and program assessment and evaluation between January 1998 and June 2000. Long was the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Requirements and Resources from June 2003 until May 2006. 

Long most recently served as the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from May 2006 to July 2010.

Long succeeds Murrett, who served four years at NGA’s helm.

NGA is a Department of Defense combat support agency and a member of the national Intelligence Community. The agency’s mission is to provide geospatial intelligence, which is the exploitation of satellite or airborne images, fused with other intelligence and geospatial information like mapping, charting and geodesy, to help warfighters and national decision makers visualize what they need to know. NGA is the nation’s eyes.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., NGA was selected by Washingtonian magazine as one of its "great places to work” in November 2009, where the "pay, mission, culture, flexibility and the benefits were the best part of working at their agency.” NGA also has major facilities in the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and St. Louis, Mo., areas with NGA support teams worldwide. 



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