Executive Mosaic is honored to present Vice Adm. Frank Whitworth, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, as a winner of the 2023 Wash100 Award. This marks the second consecutive time Whitworth has been inducted into the annual prestigious roster of public and private sector leaders who drive government contracting activity.
As the eighth NGA chief, Whitworth pledged to enhance operational readiness, recruit and hone the talent of highly skilled workers, and strengthen partnerships with the private sector and alliances with other nations.
“NGA’s goal is to automate routine GEOINT tasks and corporate business processes and take advantage of technology from academic, corporate, and government military partners to create strategic capabilities with mission advantage,” Whitworth said during his October 2022 keynote address at the Potomac Officers Club’s 8th Annual Intelligence Summit.
The Navy vice admiral took the helm at NGA amid its takeover of the geospatial intelligence aspects of Project Maven, the Department of Defense’s marquee artificial intelligence initiative.
Whitworth told The Cipher Brief in a November 2022 interview that the project fits into the agency’s mission and operations, which leverage AI, machine learning and other processes required for a more in-depth analysis of massive amounts of visual data.
“It’s one of the most important things that we plan to incorporate into our mission. When you think about the exponential rise in data, the exponential rise in sensors out there, and what is, in my opinion, a deluge issue,” he commented. “We need something with an advantage of processing power. And that learning takes, equally, a certain number of structured observations and data that the machine can actually count on.”
Two months into his appointment, NGA’s Moonshot Labs co-hosted the IC Private Sector Engagement Innovation Summit to encourage the exchange of ideas and best practices for public-private collaboration on the development of technologies to protect national security.
The agency additionally supports the State Department’s Conflict Observatory program by providing unclassified imagery through the GEOINT Delivery system, helping monitor war crime and humanitarian issues in Ukraine.
During 2022, NGA awarded contracts for malware deterrence and GEOINT economic indicator monitoring. The agency continued its partnership with Maxar Technologies for the creation of an application programming interface for commercial imagery delivered through Amazon Web Services‘ Simple Storage Service and EnhancedView program.
As an intelligence agency and combat support branch, NGA offers assistance to both warfighters and decision-makers through the analysis and dissemination of information in the visual domain.
“It is a privilege for us to be responsible for this domain of intelligence. The idea here is to distinguish enemy from non-enemy, combatant from non-combatant. And it’s not just a terrestrial thing. There will also be responsibilities in space,” Whitworth told the KYMN radio show in November.
Before he joined NGA, Whitworth was the director for intelligence of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He held the same post in other operational tours including the U.S. Africa Command, Joint Special Operations Command, Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan, and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
He became an indications and warning officer at Naval Forces Central Command during Operation Desert Storm and subsequently served as intelligence director and deputy director of Maritime Operations Center.
His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Executive Mosaic congratulates Vice Adm. Frank Whitworth and the entire NGA organization on their selection to the 2023 edition of the Wash100. We value their role in the government contracting industry and look forward to their future contributions to the sector.
Vote for your favorite awardees at Wash100.com as part of this year’s Popular Vote competition! The voting period is open until April 28.