NGA chief technologist Mark Munsell to retire

Mark Munsell, left, speaks with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Deborah Kotulich and John Forsythe during a panel discussion at the T-REX center in St. Louis. (Stephenie Wade)


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Mark Munsell, CTO of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, will retire with 20 years of federal service early next month.

Since February 2019, Munsell has led NGA’s forward-looking technology portfolio and development as the CTO, helping in particular to build out the agency’s geospatial technology ecosystem at its secondary headquarters in St. Louis. He is credited with publishing NGA’s first Technology Strategy.

He will step down from the role Nov. 9.

Munsell has been a big advocate for attracting talented technologists — both inside and outside of government — to work with NGA.

“What does it take to meet future mission with future technology? It requires technologists who understand the mission and how GEOINT is evolving to meet the mission. Driving future mission requires that technologists are leading the GEOINT mission,” Munsell wrote in his technology strategy. “NGA is the world’s leader in geospatial intelligence because of the passion held by our people to deliver timely and relevant information to members of the national security apparatus, policy makers, and international partners.”

During his time at NGA, Munsell served also as deputy director of the agency’s CIO and IT Services Directorate. His tenure began in 1996, when NGA was previously referred to as the Defense Mapping Agency. He spent a few years in the early 2000s as a flight and maritime planning contractor before returning to NGA in 2006.

NGA’s CTO role in an evolving one, created in 2018 to “focus on increasing the agency’s ability to instill next-generation technology, tradecraft and innovative approaches to the geospatial intelligence community, enterprise and mission.” The agency said it will announce Munsell’s replacement in the coming months.

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CTO, Mark Munsell, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency