Herndon, Va., Feb. 27, 2014—The U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) recently marked the 10th anniversary of its incorporation. A decade ago, a small group of professionals collaborated to build a community of interest for the burgeoning geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) discipline. These supporters united industry, government, and academia to host a small event, which was more successful than they could have imagined. Shortly thereafter, on Jan. 22, 2004, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) was incorporated as a 501©(3) educational non-profit—formalizing the mission to unite all stakeholders to support the growing need for actionable GEOINT.
Ten years later, USGIF has transformed from a budding idea to an integral part of the defense, intelligence, and homeland security communities. USGIF has grown to encompass its world-class annual GEOINT Symposium, regular networking events, technical workshops, training opportunities, educational initiatives, and much more. All of which build upon USGIF’s three strategic pillars: Build the Community, Advance the Tradecraft, and Accelerate Innovation.
“There were men and women who risked their lives every day to protect our families, our communities, our nation, our values, and our way of life, and the underlying foundation for all of that security was geospatial intelligence,” said Stu Shea, USGIF founder and chairman of the board of directors. “GEOINT was where our national security began, and we realized whether we’re fighting the global war on terror, supporting coalition forces in theater, or reacting to worldwide natural disasters, there was always this growing need for actionable geospatial intelligence. That’s the reason we created USGIF.”
The Foundation has grown from seven founding companies to nearly 240 member organizations. The GEOINT Symposium has flourished from a small gathering of senior leaders into the largest intelligence event in the United States. USGIF will also commemorate its 10th GEOINT Symposium April 14-17 in Tampa, Fla.
USGIF plans the Symposium and other events with the help of volunteers from its five committees and nine working groups, which unite community members around specific topics of interest.
In 2012, the Foundation further rallied the GEOINT Community with the launch of its official magazine, trajectory. The magazine positions USGIF as a thought leader on all matters GEOINT, and explores how the discipline is engaged in myriad national security issues.
The Foundation’s academic programs include accrediting colleges and universities to grant GEOINT certificates—more than 350 students have earned a GEOINT certificate from one of the nine USGIF-accredited programs. The USGIF scholarship program has grown to award $100,000 annually to deserving students, and to date, USGIF has awarded more than $700,000. Each year, USGIF also recognizes the exceptional work of the GEOINT community’s brightest minds through its USGIF Awards Program.
Over the past year, USGIF has initiated the establishment of an individual professional certification program that will encompass the broad range of geospatial science and technology competencies required of contemporary GEOINT practitioners.
With all the Foundation has accomplished in its first decade, USGIF members, staff, and stakeholders eagerly look forward to what the next 10 years hold.
“It’s been an incredibly exciting and rewarding run for USGIF, growing from a simple idea to a robust organization which has firmly established itself,” said Keith Masback, the foundation’s chief executive officer. “What’s even more exciting is what the future holds, and how much we’re going to be able to accomplish given the capacity we’ve generated thanks to the enduring support of our members and our talented, dedicated staff.”