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Speakers confirmed for postponed GEOINT Symposium

Jan. 8, 2014 - 03:45AM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will be a keynote speaker at the GEOINT Symposium in April. (CIA)
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will be a keynote speaker at the GEOINT Symposium in April. (CIA) ()
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A number of senior intelligence officials have reaffirmed their commitment to speak at a GEOINT Symposium in April.

Event organizers were forced to reschedule the conference in the wake of a 16-day government shutdown in October.

Confirmed speakers for the event include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; Betty Sapp, director of the National Reconnaissance Office; National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia Long; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; and Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.

The 2013 GEOINT Symposium was slated for October but was postponed until April 14 because of the government shutdown. The U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation is hosting the four-day event in Tampa, Fla.

To date, only a small percentage of people have canceled their registration for the April conference, “and that show of support makes a strong statement about the sustained value of the GEOINT Symposium,” said CEO Keith Masback said Wednesday in an email to attendees. The deadline to cancel registration and request a refund is Jan. 17.

CEO Keith Masback said he believes there is a pent-up demand for events like the GEOINT Symposium because similar conferences had been canceled for various reasons, and government travel and conference attendance have been affected by the sequester and backlash from publicized instances of overspending and mismanagement of government conferences.

A Jan. 3 report by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., on conference spending found that Defense Department spending decreased from $89 million in fiscal 2012 to $12.3 million in the first half of fiscal 2013. The report tracked spending for conferences that cost more than $100,000.

“The decline in overall government spending, sequestration, and the October federal shutdown have impacted the entire USGIF community,” Masback said.

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