Secretary of Interior makes appointments to National Geospatial Advisory Committee

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has appointed 13 professionals to serve as members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), which provides recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues and advice on development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

The NSDI promotes sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and the academic community.

“We are pleased to welcome this distinguished set of new members to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee,” said Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, who serves as Chair of the FGDC. “The NGAC’s inclusion of a broad range of perspectives, governmental, tribal, private sector, and academic, enables it to provide valuable advice to federal agencies on the most pressing geospatial issues, and helps us make better progress toward our goal of seamless integration and accessibility of geospatial data.”

Salazar also appointed Robert Austin, Enterprise Applications Integration Manager for the city of Tampa, Florida, to serve as the chair of the NGAC. The NGAC includes up to 30 members, selected to generally 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 new appointees to three-year terms on the NGAC are:

Robert F. Austin, City of Tampa, Florida, Chair (reappointed to a second term); Talbot J. Brooks, Delta State University, Miss.; Keith Clarke, University of California, Santa Barbara; Steve Coast, Microsoft Corp.; David DiSera, EMA Inc. (reappointed to a second term); Matthew Gentile, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services; Frank Harjo, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Michael Jones, Google Inc.; Jack H. Maguire, County of Lexington, S.C.; Carolyn J. Merry, The Ohio State University; Roger Mitchell, MDA Information Systems Inc.; Michele Motsko, U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Douglas Richardson, Association of American Geographers.

The members of the NGAC report to the chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), which is the Federal interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in Federal geospatial programs.

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 DOI, 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.

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