Coffee Hour: Succeeding in the Open

Friday, October 2, 2015 - 3:30pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.


About the talk

In this discussion, Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, deals with two topics: first, transparency, and how intelligence activities can be conducted in an increasingly open environment, and second, what skills are needed in this new, more open intelligence-gathering environment. NGA has been operating in a transparent environment for years. As James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, has said, “Geospatial intelligence has a great advantage in our current environment because it is the most transparent of the collection disciplines.” Geospatial intelligence is increasingly transparent, because of the huge number and diversity of commercial and open sources of information, from private satellites to Google Earth. In order to be successful in this increasingly open environment, NGA encourages collaboration and integration by being as transparent as possible with its data and applications. To operate in this new environment, agencies like NGA need special skills, including people who understand technology like the cloud, people with expertise in geospatial analysis and technology, and people who know data analysis, particularly big data. It’s largely a focus on the STEM areas, but NGA also needs business analysts and social scientists, to operate effectively in the current open and data-rich world of intelligence. There is a role for talented people, in and from academia, who have a demonstrated passion for using their skills in defense of our Nation.  


About the speaker

Robert CardilloRobert Cardillo is the sixth director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Cardillo leads and directs NGA under the authorities of the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence. He became NGA’s director on Oct. 3, 2014. Prior to this assignment, Cardillo served as the first deputy director for Intelligence Integration, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, from 2010 to 2014. In addition, he served as the deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Deputy Director for Analysis, DIA, from 2006 to 2010. In the summer of 2009, Cardillo served as the Acting J2, a first for a civilian, in support of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Before he moved to DIA, Cardillo led Analysis and Production as well as Source Operations and Management at NGA from 2002 to 2006. Cardillo’s leadership assignments at NGA also included Congressional Affairs, Public Affairs, and Corporate Relations. Cardillo began his career with DIA in 1983 as an imagery analyst, and he was selected to the Senior Executive Service in 2000. Cardillo earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University in 1983 and a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University in 1988. Cardillo is the recipient of the Director of National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive, the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Cardillo resides in Northern Virginia with his wife. They have three children and two grandchildren.


Angela Rogers

Coffee Hour