The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) announced this year’s recipient of the Foundation’s Arthur C. Lundahl-Thomas C. Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award — The Honorable Susan M. Gordon. She was recognized as part of USGIF’s virtual GEOConnect Series Main Stage event. She is the sixteenth individual to win this prestigious award.
Gordon was sworn in as the fifth principal deputy director of National Intelligence (PDDNI) on August 7, 2017. As PDDNI, Gordon assisted the DNI in leading the Intelligence Community (IC) and managing the ODNI, particularly focused on advancing intelligence integration across the IC, expanding outreach and partnerships, and driving innovation across the IC. Gordon, with nearly three decades of experience in the IC, served in a variety of leadership roles spanning numerous intelligence organizations and disciplines. She served as the deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) from 2015 to 2017. In this role, she helped the director lead the agency and manage the National System of Geospatial Intelligence. Gordon drove NGA’s transformation to meet the challenges of a 21st century intelligence agency. She also championed agile governance, recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, and expansion of geospatial intelligence services to the open marketplace. She is known for her commitment to diversity and inclusion of women and men of the IC.
Prior to her assignment at NGA, Gordon served for 27 years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She rose to senior executive positions in each of the agency’s four directorates: operations, analysis, science and technology, and support. Gordon joined the CIA in 1980 as an analyst in the Office of Scientific and Weapons Research. She then went on to serve as the director of the Office of Advanced Analytic Tools, director of Special Activities in the Directorate of Science and Technology, director for support, and ultimately in concurrent roles as director of the Information Operations Center and the CIA director’s senior advisor on cyber. In 1998, she designed and drove the formation of In-Q-Tel, a private, non-profit company whose primary purpose is to deliver innovative technology solutions for the agency and the IC. Gordon has been recognized for her creative executive leadership through numerous awards, including the Presidential Rank Award at the distinguished level.
“I am honored beyond measure and humbled beyond words, to receive the Lundahl-Finnie Lifetime Achievement Award. My thanks go to the board of USGIF [who] thought I might be worthy of the legacy of the visionary leaders who inspired the award, the icons with whom I get to share the recognition, and the women and men of geospatial intelligence whose craft contribution and commitment have kept America and her allies and interest safe for generations,” said Gordon. “I will treasure this award and moment forever.”
The Lundahl-Finnie award recipient is nominated and voted upon annually by USGIF’s Board of Directors. This distinguished award was named for Arthur C. Lundahl and Thomas C. Finnie, celebrating their accomplishments — in imagery analysis and mapping, respectively — and their legacies within the GEOINT Community. Lundahl is known as the father of modern imagery intelligence and analysis and was the founding director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center. Finnie served as DMA’s director of management and technology and was one of the primary architects of the agency’s evolution into the digital era.