Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr. became the first civilian director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency on September 13, 2001 — two days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the declaration of a global war on terrorism. He was responsible for NIMA’s name change in November 2003 to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and served at NGA as its second director until June 2006.
Lt. Gen. Clapper was honored during his tenure for his many exemplary contributions to the intelligence community and the United States. In the aftermath of 9/11, Clapper recognized that new threats could occur at any time or place. He moved to embed analysts throughout combat support and intelligence community networks, and established an NGA element to provide support to the newly organized Department of Homeland Security. Clapper also 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.
As NGA Director, Lt. Gen. Clapper assumed the role of GEOINT functional manager. He composed 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.
Lt. Gen. Clapper was inducted into the GEOINT Hall of Fame on March 25, 2008.