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USGIF Chairman Stu Shea Steps Down After 10 Years of Service

April 15, 2014  - By
Image: GPS World

After founding the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) in 2004, serving as its first president and chief executive officer, and presiding as the Chairman of the Board for 10 years, Stu Shea this morning announced during the GEOINT 2013* Symposium he is stepping down from his position as chairman of the foundation. The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris was elected Shea’s successor by the board of directors at its last meeting. Harris will assume chairman duties effective immediately.

“USGIF has grown over the past decade to become exactly what myself and the other founders envisioned for the GEOINT Community,” Shea said. “From a small gathering of intelligence professionals, USGIF has built a community around and furthered GEOINT tradecraft, fueled by the strategic direction of the Board, the talented USGIF staff, and countless Foundation members, partners, and volunteers. Our accomplishments have been a team effort, and I am so very proud to have been a part of this success.”

Since USGIF was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) educational, nonprofit foundation in January 2004, Shea has dedicated much of his time and energy as chairman. He served USGIF in a part-time capacity, one that sometimes equaled a second full-time job.

Under Shea’s leadership, the foundation has grown from seven founding companies to nearly 250 member organizations, awarded nearly $700,000 in scholarships, accredited eight collegiate geospatial certificate programs, and expanded the GEOINT Symposium from a fledgling event into the largest annual gathering of intelligence professionals, numbering more than 4,000 attendees annually.

“Stu is a valuable asset to the entire Intelligence Community, but particularly the GEOINT Community,” said USGIF Chief Operating Officer Aimee McGranahan. “I’ve been a part of USGIF since the beginning, and it has been an honor every day to be a part of the Foundation’s success under his leadership. Stu’s ability to make decisions and set direction, as well as his enthusiasm and passion for national security, has driven the organization to accomplish many successes. It was these same characteristics the board carefully sought when making the decision to elect Jeff as Stu’s successor.”

Former director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force, Jeffrey K. Harris has contributed to U.S. national security in both government and industry for 35 years. He has fostered new technologies, programs, and capabilities that have contributed significantly toward keeping our nation secure.

Harris is retired from Lockheed Martin, where he was a corporate officer and served as president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, as well as president of Lockheed Martin Special Programs. Prior, he served as president of Space Imaging, the first company to provide commercial high-resolution satellite imagery.

Before entering the private sector, Harris served in federal leadership positions, including Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space, director of the NRO, and associate executive director of the Intelligence Community Management Staff. In all of these capacities, he provided direct support to both the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence.
Harris has received numerous awards, most notably the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the CIA Distinguished Service Medal, the NRO Medal for Distinguished Service, Aviation Week’s Laureate Citation, and the James V. Hartinger Award for military space achievement. He was also the 2006 recipient of USGIF’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community with government, industry, academia, professional organizations, and individuals who apply geospatial intelligence to address national security challenges. USGIF’s mission is to build the community, advance the tradecraft, and accelerate innovation. The GEOINT Symposium is hosted annually by USGIF.

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.