Interior Department Appoints New Members and Leadership to National Geospatial Advisory Committee

February 26, 2016

Secretary of the Interior 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. 

Julie Sweetkind-Singer, the new NGAC Chair, 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. Sweetkind-Singer has served as NGAC Vice-Chair for the past year.

Keith Masback, the new vice-chair, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. Before serving in this role, he was an officer in the U.S. Army and a senior executive in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 

"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.” 

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 appointees to three-year terms on the NGAC are: 

  • Mr. David Alexander, Department of Homeland Security 
  • Mr. Frank Avila, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency 
  • Dr. Sarah Battersby, Tableau Software 
  • Mr. Talbot Brooks, Delta State University (reappointed to a second term)
  • Mr. Matt Gentile, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Mr. Frank Harjo, Muscogee (Creek) Nation (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Mr. Xavier Irias, East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Mr. Roger Mitchell, MDA Information Systems, Inc. (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Ms. Rebecca Moore, Google, Inc. 
  • Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, Hunter College, City University of New York 
  • Dr. Carl Reed, Carl Reed and Associates, LLC 
  • Ms. Amber Reynolds, City of Topeka, Kansas 
  • Dr. Douglas Richardson, American Association of Geographers (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Dr. May Yuan, University of Texas – Dallas 

The NGAC meets three to four times per year. The public is invited to comment and make suggestions at all committee meetings, which will be announced by publication in the Federal Register at least 15 days before the meeting date. 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. 

Additional information about the NGAC, including a complete list of the committee members, is available at

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