“First of Many…America’s First Female Intelligence Agency Chief” – with former NGA Director Letitia “Tish” Long
Letitia “Tish” Long (LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss her time as the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Tish was the first woman to be appointed director of an American intelligence agency.
What You’ll Learn
- GEOINT & its importance
- Tish’s recollection of the Bin Laden raid
- The differences between NGO and NGA
- Information sharing between spy chiefs
- The value of mentorship
- Being the first, but certainly not the last
And much, much more …
This week on SpyCast, Andrew is joined by Letitia Long, former director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Tish became the first female director of an American intelligence agency in 2010, paving the way for many more women in the years after her tenure. Prior to her career in NGA, Tish served as Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence. Tune in to learn more about the work of NGA and hear lessons in leadership from Tish’s extraordinary career in intelligence.
This episode is the final installment of our five-part Spy Chiefs special series. If you haven’t yet, listen in to our episodes with former CIA Director David Petraeus, Former Director of Kenyan Intelligence Wilson Boinett, Irish Garda Assistant Commissioner Michael McElgunn, and former R&AW Special Secretary Vappala Balachandran.
Among many awards and recognitions from the United States, Tish has also been the recipient of numerous international decorations, including: The king of Norway’s Medal of Merit, the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, and has been appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor of France!
Quotes of the Week
“Make sure that you are taking care of yourself, that you're getting that balance, you know, work life balance. And when I say that, I mean many different things because everybody is different. Whether it's family, friends, spiritual, physical, or working out, you’ve got to take care of all aspects of yourself so you're ready to give 110%. Because that's what the intelligence community takes.” – Tish Long.
- Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy with Michael Vickers (2023)
- Leader, Lecturer, Analyzer, Nerd with Jorhena Thomas (2023)
- SPY CHIEFS: “From Navy Analyst to State Dept. Intelligence Chief” with Ellen McCarthy (Part 1 of 2)
- SPY CHIEFS: “From Navy Analyst to State Dept. Intelligence Chief” with Ellen McCarthy (Part 2 of 2)
- What is Geospatial Intelligence or GEOINT?, Geospatial World, YouTube (2023) [2 min. video]
- Spy Satellite Expert Explains How to Analyze Satellite Imagery, Wired, YouTube (2021) [5 min. video]
- NGA History, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (n.d) [Short article]
- Geospatial Intelligence: Origins and Evolution, R. M. Clark (Georgetown University Press, 2020)
- Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence, J. Clapper (Penguin Books, 2018)
- Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad, P. L. Bergen (Crown, 2012)
- The Rise of Machine Learning and AI in GIS, GIS Geography (2023)
- U.S. GEOINT Is Clear Driver in Ukrainian Defense, K. Underwood, AFCEA (2022)
- 4 Uses of Geospatial Intelligence, USC Spatial Sciences Institute (2021)
- A Talk with Tish: Leading with Integrity, J. Schultz, The International Affairs Review (2020)
- The Future of Geospatial Intelligence, J. Dodd & J. Groopman, Journal of Geo-Spatial Information Science (2017)
- The Evolution of Geospatial Intelligence and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, G. E. Weir, AFIO (2015)
- Teaching the Intelligence Process: The Killing of Bin Laden as a Case Study, K. Cozine, Journal of Strategic Security (2013)
- Tearline: Environmental Impacts of Conflict in Ukraine, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, YouTube (2023)
- The Power of GEOINT, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, YouTube (2013)
- The Advent of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Office of the NGA Historian (2011)
- Geospatial Intelligence Basic Doctrine, NGA (2006)
- Memorandum to the Director of NIMA on Expanded Use of US Commercial Space Imagery, CIA (2002)
- A Century of CORONA, CIA (1968)
- NGA Reference Chronology, Office of the NGA Historian (n.d.)
- Jefferson's Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803)
- We could trace the roots of formal GEOINT in the American government all the way back to Lewis & Clark’s 8,000-mile expedition. The team, with the invaluable help of Sacagawea, was tasked with mapping out the previously uncharted American West, an unlikely but excellent example of intelligence gathering!