Letitia A. Long yesterday became the first woman to lead a major U.S. intelligence agency, assuming her position as director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at a ceremony held in Springfield, Va, The Associated Press reported.
“I have never seen an agency as young as the NGA do so much in so little time,” she said of the agency, which was founded in 1996.
Department of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced Feb. 22 Long would be replacing Navy Vice Adm. Robert Murrett, making her the first woman to lead a major intelligence agency. Long has more than three decades of experience in the engineering and intelligence field. Some of her previous positions include deputy director of naval intelligence, and coordinator of intelligence community activities for the director of national intelligence. Most recently, she served as second in command at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Long entered civilian federal service with the Navy in 1978 as a project engineer in training with the David Taylor Research Center. After completing her degree in 1982, she spent six years with David Taylor Research Center, working on various submarine acoustic sensor programs. In 1988, she joined the staff of the director of naval intelligence where she managed intelligence research and development programs.
In 1994, Long was selected into the Senior Intelligence Executive Service and served as director of requirements, plans, policy, and programs for the Navy N2 staff, as well as director of resource management for the Office of Naval Intelligence. From 1994 to 1996, Long was on rotational assignment from ONI to the Defense Intelligence Agency as director of military intelligence staff director.
In 1996, she joined DIA as deputy director for information systems and services where she directed DIA’s worldwide IT and communications programs. She was also DIA’s first chief information officer.
Long holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, and a master’s in mechanical engineering from the Catholic University of America.