Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper

Days after Sept. 11, 2001, the Honorable James R. Clapper, a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Air Force, became Director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). In the five years that followed, Clapper guided NIMA – renamed NGA in 2003 – into the future and helped coin the term “geospatial intelligence” – or GEOINT. Clapper was sworn in as the fourth Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Aug. 9, 2010.


 From the NGA Pathfinder Archives

Clapper Inducted Into the NGA Hall of Fame

By Kelly Kemp
Pathfinder, May 2008

Former NGA Director and current Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., was inducted into the NGA Hall of Fame during the Director’s Recognition Ceremony at NGA headquarters on March 25, 2008. “Today we welcome you into the NGA Hall of Fame for all the tremendous work you have done to support NGA and our mission and for your long history of service...” said NGA Director Navy Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett as he presented the award.

Clapper was honored for his many exemplary contributions to the Intelligence Community (IC) and the United States between September 2001 and June 2006. On Sept. 13, 2001, two days after the terrorist attacks and the declaration of a global war on terrorism, Clapper was announced as the second, and first civilian, director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), succeeding geospatial pioneer Army Lt. Gen. James C. King.

Immediately recognizing that new threats could occur at any time or place, Clapper began to promote products that emerged from a variety of new initiatives. He moved to embed analysts throughout the combat support and IC networks, and established an NGA element to provide support to the newly organized Department of Homeland Security. Clapper pioneered the new discipline of geospatial intelligence, known today as GEOINT, by directing that the previously separated imagery and geospatial analysis tradecrafts operate within a common collaborative environment. His concept of a unifying discipline and doctrine guided the transformation of NIMA through congressional legislation into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2003. The new name represented the maturation of the GEOINT discipline and the increased unification of the agency’s parts.

As NGA Director, Clapper also assumed the role of GEOINT functional manager. He set about composing plans and policies that would govern GEOINT resources within a National System for Geospatial Intelligence. Creating a series of formal communications and directives, Clapper published a working doctrine for GEOINT—the first ever Geospatial Intelligence Basic Doctrine, which appeared in July 2004.

At the induction ceremony, Clapper thanked and expressed his appreciation to colleagues: “It’s great to be home; I am honored and touched by this recognition.” The NGA Hall of Fame Award was established to recognize employees from all levels who have contributed notably to the unfolding mission of NGA and its predecessor organizations in advancing imagery, imagery intelligence and GEOINT.

NGA Photo

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