Doing Business With National Imagery and Mapping Agency
General info on NIMA<@VM>The CIO file: Scott Cragg
- By Evamarie C. Socha
- Aug 01, 2003
4600 Sangamore Road
Bethesda, MD 20816-5003
Oct. 1, 1996Director:
James Clapper What it does:
NIMA is in the business of what is called geospatial intelligence: the analysis of cartography, imagery and geodetic information to assess and depict physical features and geographic activities on Earth. The agency provides maps and imagery as well as analytic services and solutions for national security, combat support and the needs of federal policymakers and agencies. NIMA is the combination of the Defense Mapping Agency, the Central Imagery Office and the Defense Dissemination Program Office, as well as the functions of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center. NIMA also includes the imagery exploitation, dissemination and processing elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.Number crunching:
The budget is classified. The fiscal 2004 budget request for the Defense Department, under the heading "Intelligence and Space," calls for NIMA to expand its use of commercial space-based imagery for, among other things, improving "military planning, damage assessment, public diplomacy and humanitarian assistance" to meet the demand for unclassified imagery. It cites as an example that in October 2002, the United States used commercially obtained satellite photos to show Iraq's efforts to hide evidence of weapons of mass destruction. "By using commercial imagery, DoD could disseminate this evidence widely without security concerns," it said.Full title:
Chief information officerTook the job:
Born in Hawaii, essentially grew up in the northeast. Considers Massachusetts home. Home now
Fairfax County, Va.Family:
Wife, two childrenHobbies
Avid golfer, tends to find himself "fixing everything." Very involved with kids youth sports; coaches football and lacrosse, and referees lacrosse at youth and high school level in Fairfax County. Currently reading:
"Leadership Lessons from the Civil War: Winning Strategies for Today's Managers" by Tom WheelerAlma mater:
Bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from Boston University, master's in engineering administration from George Washington University. Also has been through defense acquisition curriculums and is a Defense Department-certified program manager and business engineer.WT: What are the main technology needs of your agency? How are they unique?
Cragg: By and large our technology needs are no different. Our mission is peculiar, but technology is essentially technology. We make use of the full gamut of services across the spectrum. We operate a desktop environment.
The technologies that we're looking at very seriously engage us in our efforts to collaborate across our community and with other partners. We share a tremendous amount of data and information, and we're trying at all times to optimize how effectively we can do that.
Some people consider this loosely in the area of knowledge management. I see it as much more than that, because we are trying to grow and increase understanding of our mission environment, so any technology that can assist us in the collaborative respects is very helpful.
Certainly there is a mission side, and that really is part of the intelligence end of our business, and that's a whole other realm. You understand that there are security issues there. But aside from that, that is the only peculiar piece. Technology for us is the same technology that everyone is looking for, we do buy a lot of things off the shelf. Yes, we do adapt them, but the collaborative technologies are very important to us. WT: What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?
Cragg: White House mandates and our internal drive to transform the way we do business pushes us to be very, very innovative. So we're looking for companies that are seeking the same thing. We talk about collaboration and knowledge expansion, sure. But groundbreaking efforts that can bring ideas on how to tackle challenges are important to us; the tried-and-true technologies that are out there today, such as what we operate in the desktop environment. Transformation is what we do, and it's a drive that each one of us have taken on at NIMA, to transform and improve the way we do things. We're also extremely interested in innovative technologies and ideas to which NIMA has organized itself to put emphasis in those areas. We have an office here called the Innovations Directorate that aggressively seeks those types of innovative and groundbreaking technologies. It's working very hard to push the edges. For more with Scott Cragg go to www.washingtontechnology.com and type 111 into the Quickfind box.