RAND Analyst Testifies on NIMA's Future

Over the past year, RAND has provided staff and analytic support to the Independent Commission on the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). The agency is charged with providing timely, relevant, and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information in support of national security objectives.

On June 28, 2001, Kevin O'Connell, Manager of RAND's Intelligence Community program, testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the findings and recommendations of the commission.

O'Connell served as the staff director and executive secretary of the NIMA Commission. He testified in closed session along with NIMA Director LTG James King and Pedro Rustan, an independent consultant to NIMA, on issues related to NIMA's modernization and to enhance NIMA's support for U.S. national security.

O'Connell specifically testified on:

  • NIMA's need to excel at the intelligence mission
  • NIMA's need to exert more leadership on behalf of the U.S. imagery and geospatial communities
  • the need for NIMA to modernize rapidly, in part by adopting commercial technologies, capabilities, and business practices
  • the need for better information management by NIMA across the diverse sources of imagery (e.g., satellite, airborne, commercial, and unmanned arial vehicles).