I recently signed another set of USGIF academic GEOINT Certificates earned by students at several of our 14 accredited university programs. It is absolutely one of my favorite things to do as USGIF CEO, among many rewarding aspects of the job. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend my entire career in service to the Nation—first as an Army officer, next as a government senior executive, and then here for the last nine years at USGIF. The Foundation is indeed focused on service to the rapidly expanding GEOINT Community in support of the United States and our allies.
Establishing USGIF as an educational nonprofit foundation versus a trade association was a pivotal decision made by those who conceptualized the organization. This determined from day one there would be no lobbying and no explicit promise to help a member company win a contract or increase market share, but simply that a rising tide truly would raise all boats.
Through the downturn in the economy in 2008, through sequestration and a government shutdown, USGIF has continued to grow. Since 2008, we’ve doubled our number of Organizational Members, seen rapid uptake of a new Individual Membership program, more than quadrupled our accredited collegiate programs, awarded more than $1 million in scholarships, and bestowed the USGIF academic GEOINT Certificate upon more than 700 students.
The Foundation remains steadfast in its mission to lead, promulgate, and support the GEOINT tradecraft and its practitioners, now and into the future.
USGIF events and programs have grown in size and scope; our working groups have proliferated; we’ve launched a world-class professional Universal GEOINT Certification program; and our impact has been amplified via our Young Professionals Group and its support to our burgeoning K-12 engagement efforts.
We’ve stayed true to the vision of our founders, and in 2016 embarked upon our first campaign to raise funds in support of our expanding educational initiatives. Our member organizations have been incredibly generous over time, creating the foundation upon which our current capacity is built. By raising additional funds, seeking grants, and working on innovative partnering arrangements, we plan to amplify that investment to support the accelerating GEOINT Revolution.
In this issue of trajectory, we illustrate the great examples of this educational work in action. You’ll also see myriad references to the wide-ranging engagements USGIF staff, members, and volunteers regularly conduct to build the community, advance the tradecraft, and accelerate innovation. We have an insightful feature on intelligence interoperability efforts underway in the U.S. Department of Defense—a companion piece to our seminal article in Q1 2016 on IC ITE, JI2E, and DI2E. Additionally, we have a great update on our professional GEOINT certification efforts, as the first to achieve those designations articulate what the accomplishment means to them and their organizations.
Whether you’re able to attend GEOINT 2017 in San Antonio or one of our other events throughout the year, I hope you’ll support our collective work by joining the Foundation as an Individual Member, volunteering on one of our working groups or committees, and considering USGIF in your charitable giving. The Foundation remains steadfast in its mission to lead, promulgate, and support the GEOINT tradecraft and its practitioners, now and into the future. We’d like you to be an integral part of these exciting endeavors.
I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio, around the D.C. metro area, and in the course of my travels sharing the power of GEOINT to audiences far and wide.