Former NGA Director and Former USGIF CEO Join Orbital Insight's Federal Advisory Board

by | Sep 5, 2019

PALO ALTO, Calif.- Orbital Insight, the leader in geospatial analytics, today announced the addition of former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo and former United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation CEO Keith Masback as the founding members of the company's newly established Federal Advisory Board.

Strategy documents for both the U.S. executive branch and Department of Defense (DoD) call for the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to meet current and future national security challenges and threats in order to protect U.S. service members, safeguard U.S. citizens, defend allies and partners, and improve the affordability, effectiveness, and speed of our operations.

To realize this mission, the U.S. government has been collaborating closely with leading commercial AI innovators to validate and deploy new enabled AI and machine learning capabilities. Orbital Insight forms its Federal Advisory Board to help the company explore the full potential of its own geospatial analytics platform and AI software to help the U.S. better prepare for tomorrow's challenges in maintaining peace and prosperity.

The leadership and GEOINT expertise of both former Director Robert Cardillo and former CEO Keith Masback will help us empower multiple U.S. government and foreign allied government agencies to exploit geospatial information at global scale with their combined 60 years of public service, said Orbital Insight CEO James Crawford. The combination of AI and GEOINT domain expertise elevates policy decisions supporting national security priorities, international economic development efforts, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, that ultimately save lives.

I am excited about the opportunity to team with Keith to help Orbital Insight shape and deliver on its promise to create coherence out of our increasingly chaotic world, said former NGA Director Robert Cardillo. With advanced algorithms and innovative concepts of operation, Orbital is a key contributor to our comprehensive understanding of our planet today – and, more importantly, how to improve our world tomorrow.

Orbital Insight is leading the field with respect to applying cutting-edge tools and techniques to provide an unparalleled ability to monitor and understand activity around the globe, said former USGIF CEO Keith Masback. I'm humbled by the opportunity to work with this uniquely talented team, and eagerly look forward to working collaboratively with my longtime colleague Robert Cardillo to bring our collective experience to bear in support of this remarkably important work.

Orbital Insight's work with the U.S. government to date has already demonstrated success in solving some of the country's toughest national security challenges. In one particular instance, Orbital Insight produced advanced analytics from daily Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging of the Earth to yield previously inaccessible insights. By providing multi-source automated geospatial analytics at scale, Orbital Insight is positioned to become a key industry partner in the U.S. government's AI ecosystem.

About Robert Cardillo

Appointed as the NGA's sixth director in 2014, Robert led the agency through significant changes in both the global threat and technology landscapes, reinforcing its position as a vital component of the country's national intelligence community. Robert began his career in national security with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 1983 as a photographic interpreter. In May 2000, he was selected to the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service. In 2009, Robert served as the Acting J2, a first for a civilian, in support of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 2010, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, selected Robert “ who was then a Deputy Director of the DIA “ to serve as the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration. In this position, he was responsible for managing, editing and delivering the President's Daily Brief to President Barack Obama. As Robert transitioned to the private sector, he continued his efforts to reduce barriers between commercial and academic innovation and the critical government missions that depend upon them to succeed. On the academic and research front, Robert is a Distinguished Fellow at Saint Louis University, a Senior Fellow at Georgetown's new Center for Security and Emerging Technology, a member of the Guidance Council of the Space Dynamics Lab at Utah State, and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In the commercial sector, Robert has joined the Board of Directors of AGI and the Advisory Boards of Beacon Global Strategies, Cesium, Cubic Corporation, HawkEye 360 and Peraton. Robert earned a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell University and a master's degree in national security studies from Georgetown University.

About Keith Masback

Keith J. Masback is the Owner and Principal Consultant at Plum Run, LLC, providing advisory and consulting services to leading-edge companies working in geospatial intelligence and related fields. He was named 2019 Geospatial Ambassador of the Year by Geospatial World Media and is an active early stage investor. Prior to founding Plum Run, he spent over a decade as the President / Chief Executive Officer of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, where he remains a member of the Board of Directors. Before joining USGIF, he spent over 20 years combined as an Infantry and Military Intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and as a government senior executive civilian employee on the Army Staff and at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Currently the Chair of the Department of Interior's National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), he is also a Councilor and Fellow of the American Geographical Society (AGS), a member of the Board of Advisors of the Global Special Operations Forces Foundation, and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Spy Museum. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of Hermeus Corporation and a Strategic Advisor at HySpecIQ, LLC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gettysburg College and completed the Post-Graduate Intelligence Program at the National Intelligence University.

About Orbital Insight

Orbital Insight leverages machine learning and computer vision to analyze petabytes of multi-source data, including satellite and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery, geolocation intelligence, and vessel traffic (AIS) data, to understand what is happening on and to the Earth. By monitoring the world's geopolitical and economic activities with unprecedented timeliness, Orbital Insight provides its customers”securities analysts, energy traders, NGO analysts and analysts in federal defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies”with unbiased and normalized datasets, empowering them to make better business and policy decisions. For more information, please visit


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