Park is a self-proclaimed workaholic. She won the National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Analyst of the Year in 2014 but insists
she was “just doing her job.” When asked about her professional
accomplishments, she prefers to change the subject and boast about her
two Chihuahuas, Biskit and Brady, and her wife, whom she says she rarely
sees due to her work.
was born in Sevilla, Spain, and raised in northern California outside of
Beale Air Force Base where her father was stationed and where her
interest for the U.S. military was born.
the time, Beale was home to the [Lockheed SR-71] Blackbird and the U-2.
When I was 17, my father took me to the 9th Reconnaissance Technical
Group and I was able to see an actual roll of SR-71 film. From then on, I
was hooked,” said Park.
high school, Park graduated from photo interpretation school and served
seven years in the Air Force. Her last assignment was to the United
States Central Command in Tampa, Florida. When she separated from the
service, she was immediately hired by the National Imagery and Mapping
Agency as one of the original 117 analysts deployed to support teams
around the world. She has been with NGA for the last 20 years and now
serves as a senior GEOINT analyst.
Jose “Joe” Estrada-Rivera, deputy chief of the NGA Support Team to CENTCOM, said Park’s knowledge base is impressive.
military experience helps her put things into operational context, and
her guidance is highly valued by the command,” said Estrada-Rivera.
primary role is to understand and influence the analytical effort and
direction of the NST and to advise analysts and managers at all levels
on GEOINT tradecraft, said Park’s supervisor, Patrick Holden.
this role, she researches internal and external production, level of
effort and requirements, and provides unbiased information to NST
leadership so they can ensure the proper employment of our limited
resources,” Holden said. “Park is that person you want in the
conversation before making decisions that could make or break an NST
Because of Park’s
subject matter expertise, last summer she was called on by NST
leadership, flag officer leadership within the Director of Intelligence
office, and people at the Director of Operations level for critical
also provides substantive awareness of regional issues throughout the
Middle East, Near East, and South and Southwest Asia,” said Holden.
“Most importantly, she is charged with mentoring analysts across the NST
due to her vast knowledge, experience, and being well-liked and
respected here.” According to Holden, Park has mentored hundreds of
analysts in her 20 years and various roles with CENTCOM.
has helped developed some of the best analysts in the community due to
her selfless service and mentoring abilities, as evidenced by the five
NGA analysts that were either quarterly or yearly award winners under
her mentorship,” Holden said.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Joshua M. Didier, an intelligence
specialist, is a product of Park’s mentorship. They worked together for
four years at CENTCOM, both in Tampa and overseas.
“Amanda Park is my friend, boss, mentor, leader, manager and subject matter expert,” said Didier.
Early in his career, Park was Didier’s supervisor. He credits her as having an immediate impact on his career.
initial interactions were rocky. I was a young analyst with limited
experience. I found her extreme attention to detail frustrating, but her
passion for all things geospatial and her outgoing personality were
inspiring,” said Didier. “We became dear friends during long hours,
working products on conflicts in Yemen where I quickly realized how
respected she is at NGA and in the CENTCOM community for her knowledge
and her passion.”
Didier said Park is the greatest driving force behind his leadership style.
she became the USCENT- COM NST operations officer, I became her
deputy,” Didier said. “She taught me that you must set a standard for
your people and never erode your goals to meet modified objectives. She
explained that people enjoy their work and want to work with a leader
who helps them achieve things they didn’t know they could accomplish.”
Didier said that Park’s tough approach is balanced with humor and accessibility.
“She always keeps her door open to give advice, professional or personal, and she can always make you laugh,” said Didier.
reputation has her on call for briefing or hosting countless civilian
and military dignitaries, which have included four NGA directors, then
CENTCOM commander, General Tommy Franks, several CENTCOM intelligence
directors, the director of Australia’s Defence Imagery and Geospatial
Organisation, and others.
For all of Park’s success, she remains humble.
just think I do my job well and I want to share my knowledge and work
ethic with others,” Park said. “I work too much, spend too little time
with those I care about, and am in a constant state of sleep
deprivation. That’s not a complaint. I thrive in that environment. But,
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