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January 15, 2021
Barbara J. Ryan steps up as the Executive Director of the World Geospatial Industry Council

Amersfoort, The Netherlands – The World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) is pleased to announce that Ms. Barbara J Ryan as its Executive Director, effective January 1, 2020. Further, Sanjay Kumar completed his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer on December 31, 2020, and will continue to serve the global Council as its Secretary-General.

Mr. Sanjay Kumar, through his collaborative leadership, leaves an impact on the global Council

Established in 2018, the World Geospatial Industry Council started gaining worldwide recognition as a transformative industry association for geospatial matters.  As the CEO & Secretary-General, Mr. Kumar has played a pivotal role in the formative years, collaborated with leading geospatial companies and global organizations, and strengthened WGIC’s member and partner base. Along with the Patron and Executive Boards, he carved out the vision and delivered its mission. Mr. Kumar shaped the committees and working groups and brought in prominent leaders at WGIC to lead various initiatives and programs. Further, he established an effective Secretariat team, which played a crucial role in its success through the founding years.

Mr. Kumar completed his tenure as the CEO on December 31, 2020, and will continue as the Council’s Secretary-General. He will continue providing the necessary guidance and direction for the organization in close coordination with the Executive leadership at the Council.

Ms. Barbara Ryan is well prepared to lead the Council into its next year

Ms. Ryan, an executive with passion, integrity, and compassion, has stepped up as the new Executive Director of WGIC. She brings with her immense leadership experience in managing and advocating for greater collaboration among national and international organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Ms. Ryan also serves on several boards and advisory committees at various national and international organizations such as the Jane Goodall Institute. She has been a Policy Advisor at WGIC since January 2019. 

As the Executive Director, Ms. Ryan will be responsible for the day-to-day management of WGIC, including its programs and strategic planning efforts. With her experience in building partnerships and networks, Ms. Ryan will play a key role in engaging with commercial companies, multi-lateral organizations, governments, and inter-governmental organizations, including other leading trade and professional bodies.

On this development, Ron Bisio, President, WGIC, said, “I want to personally thank Sanjay for his extraordinary leadership over the past three years in establishing and running WGIC, and making it a valuable organization for the geospatial industry. I would also like to thank Barbara for stepping up to lead WGIC into 2021 – a promising year. As we see an increasing relevance of geospatial technologies in addressing global challenges, having an experienced global leader like Barbara leading WGIC is very apt and timely. I welcome her on behalf of the Executive Board and look forward to her leadership.”

“Barbara brings decades of leadership experience and has served as Associate Director – USGS, Director of Space Programme at the World Meteorological Organization, and the Secretariat Director of the Group on Earth Observations. She does contribute her time to serve on civil society organizations and is well known for her commitment to geospatial and earth observation evangelism. I welcome Barbara Ryan as Executive Director, and I am very sure that her leadership would provide the necessary momentum to our mission in 2021 and beyond.”, said Mr. Kumar.

Commencing the new role, Ms. Ryan said, “The work that WGIC Members do, in partnership with governments and others around the world, is critical for ensuring public health and safety, clean environments, and strong economies, and I am honored to step into this role.  I very much look forward to continuing what Sanjay started and to further advocate on behalf of the geospatial and earth observation community globally.”

She welcomed leading technology companies, new space and Earth observation firms, spatial analytics companies, and startups working on geospatial technologies to join WGIC in the co-creation of the geospatial economy in a digital world.

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