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Society of Woman Geographers welcomes pioneers

By NGA Office of Corporate Communications

The Society of Woman Geographers hosted the Women Mapping the World conference at the Library of Congress's James Madison Memorial building in Washington, D.C., March 27. The event featured a "Women in National Security" panel with geospatial intelligence pioneers and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency alumnae Dr. Annette Krygiel, Roberta Lenczowski and Letitia Long.

During the hour-long panel, the three woman discussed the evolution of NGA's heritage organizations, as well as the role that women played in pushing the GEOINT tradecraft forward.

"Women succeeded in highly visible, risky and difficult jobs," said Krygiel, who was program manager for the design, integration and delivery phase of the Defense Mapping Agency's digital production system. "Women in DMA expected and received more responsibility, recognition and promotions into key positions. Many of these became leaders in what became the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency."

During Krygiel's 38-year federal career, she managed geodetic and gravimetric programs and oversaw development of computer science and telecommunications applications for mapping. She served as chief scientist at DMA and was the final director of the Central Imagery Office. When the National Imagery and Mapping Agency was formed in 1996, Krygiel became deputy director for systems and technology - the highest-ranking woman at the young agency.

Lenczowski spent 28 years in the public sector, retiring in 2005 after a distinguished career as a technical management leader. In 2013, she was the first female recipient of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation's Arthur C. Lundahl-Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement award.

Long retired from NGA in 2014 after serving as the first female director of the agency. During her tenure, Long introduced a number of changes at the agency to put "the power of GEOINT" into the hands of the user while providing timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of warfighters, policymakers and first responders.