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Innovators and Leaders

  • Robert Cardillo

    Mr. Robert Cardillo became the sixth Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on Oct. 3, 2014. Prior to leading NGA, Cardillo served as the first Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration.

  • Maj. Gen. William L. Nicholson III

    As director of the Defense Mapping Agency from July 1979 to June 1981, Major General Nicholson III expanded the digital geographic data production for the Strategic Air Command/Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff requirements to respond to the Joint Strategic Operational Plan, or JSOP, for defense of the nation during the Cold War.

  • Lt. Gen. Abner Martin, U.S. Air Force

    As director of the Defense Mapping Agency from 1977 to 1979, Lt. Gen. Abner Martin responded to the growing demands for digital geographic data required by new aircraft simulators and the strategic and tactical variants of the cruise missiles.

  • Floyd W. Hough

    According to Life Magazine in the 1950s, Hough’s “cloak and dagger” team “swooped down on German universities and institutes, scooped up all the maps and geodetic survey information in sight, converted them quickly to the U.S. military map system and handed their findings to the artillerymen.

  • Maj. Gen. Raymund E. O’Mara, U.S. Air Force

    As director of the Defense Mapping Agency from 1993 to 1994, Maj. Gen. Raymund O’Mara moved forward with the implementation of the Global Geospatial Information System.

  • Maj. Gen. Philip W. Nuber, U.S. Air Force

    As director of the Defense Mapping Agency from December 1994 to May 1996, Maj. Gen. Philip W. Nuber oversaw the agency’s reinvention task force.

  • Sacagawea

    Sacagawea, a teenage Lemhi Shoshone woman, accompanied Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during their exploration of the Western United States between 1804 and 1806.

  • Matthew F. Maury

    An expert in marine analysis, naval meteorology and bathymetry, Matthew F. Maury earned his nickname as the “Pathfinder of the Seas,” by developing the first Wind and Current Charts in 1847. His efforts were directly responsible for the United States’ emergence as a powerful seafaring nation unequaled in its knowledge of the Earth’s oceans, winds and currents.

  • William R. Allder, Jr.

    William R. Allder, Jr. spent 33 years as a distinguished visionary and leader in the geospatial intelligence domain.

  • Brig. Gen. Rutledge P. Hazzard, U.S. Army

    Retired Army Brig. Gen. Rutledge P. “Hap” Hazzard brought the computer age to the National Photographic Interpretation Center with state-of-the-art tools and modern equipment during a time of great change in technical imagery collection.

  • Edward Steichen

    Photographer Edward Steichen was a pioneer in aerial intelligence during the first World War and served as the Director of the Naval Aviation Photographic unit during World War II.

  • Mary Sears

    During World War II, Massachusetts native and STEM pioneer Mary Sears left her job as a research assistant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to answer her country’s call to duty.

  • Letitia A. Long

    On Aug. 9, 2010, Letitia A. Long became the fifth director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the first woman to head a major U.S. intelligence agency.

  • Dr. William C. Mahoney

    Dr. William C. Mahoney was a driving force for reshaping the interpretation and exploitation of imagery acquired from airborne and space-borne cameras.

  • Mr. Paul L. Peeler Jr.

    Paul L. Peeler Jr. was instrumental in leading the transformation from manual production methods to digital production.

Defining Moments in NGA History

Explore more of NGA's history through defining moments.