US: Secretary of Interior Department, Sally Jewell, has appointed a new chair and vice chair and 14 new and continuing members to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), which provides recommendations to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), the interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in federal geospatial programs.
The new NGAC chair, Julie Sweetkind-Singer, is a leader in the geospatial library and information management community, serving as the assistant director of Geospatial, Cartographic and Scientific Data; and head librarian of the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections at Stanford University. Similarly, Keith Masback, the new vice-chair, serves as the CEO of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
The NGAC includes up to 30 members, selected to achieve a balanced representation of the varied interests associated with geospatial programs and technology. NGAC members are appointed to serve staggered terms on the committee. The U.S. Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of the Interior, provides support services for the NGAC. The NGAC functions solely as an advisory body.
The NGAC was created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, enacted by Congress in 1972 to ensure that advice rendered to the executive branch by advisory committees, task forces, boards, and commissions formed by Congress and the President, be both objective and accessible to the public. The Act formalized a process for establishing, operating, overseeing, and terminating these advisory bodies.
"We are honored to have these accomplished geospatial professionals as leaders and members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee,” said Jennifer Gimbel, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, who serves as Chair of the FGDC Steering Committee. “The NGAC has been a valuable resource and an excellent partner for the Federal geospatial community, and has provided thoughtful advice and recommendations on a wide range of geospatial policy and management issues. Geospatial data and technology are essential for Federal agencies and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with this distinguished set of leaders.”