Intelligence Community Focuses on Partnerships at Intelligence Summit

Intelligence Community Focuses on Partnerships at Intelligence Summit


Story by Claudia Borovina, IC Communications Fellow

Photos by James Williams, ODNI Strategic Communications


Senior leaders and officers from across the Intelligence Community discussed threats facing the U.S. and their priorities to address them during the Intelligence and National Security Summit held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 15-17.


A key theme across the event focused on how government agencies and industry can work together, leveraging each of their unique capabilities and authorities.


National Counterterrorism Center Director Christy Abizaid focused on how industry could help counterterrorism interagency efforts during her fireside chat.


“Help us connect the dots. There are more and more dots every day - we are in a data environment where it’s all only going to get bigger,” said Abizaid. “The only way is if we have technology that’s going to do help us do that.”


As additional partnerships develop, the amount of data available will become greater and require data management for quick analysis and sharing.





During a panel titled “Leading Change: A look at the CIO, CDO, and CDAO Roles,” IC Chief Data Officer Lori Wade said, “we can help enable deliberate and intentional coalitions across the IC and with our partners to deliver interoperable capabilities at scale, ensure data is AI-ready, establishes new approaches for how the IC works with our partners, and accelerate digital and data acumen across the IC.”


Beyond data sharing and management, a panel featuring senior leaders from the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Organization, and Federal Bureau of Investigation discussed on-going threats and how necessary partnerships are to finding solutions.


“We have been able to shift to Russia and China and still effectively cover counterterrorism, which we saw in August [from the U.S. strike that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri],” said NSA Deputy Director George Barnes. “We try to leverage each other’s authorities and capabilities.”


DIA Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier said that his agency stood up a threat integration center in response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, in addition to doubling down on partnerships.


But it’s not just leadership who understand the vital need to partner across government and the private sector. Agencies are leveraging partnerships to increase the IC’s visibility from space.





“We are working with commercial capabilities to increase our resiliency in many ways,” said NGA Director of the Commercial and Business Operations Group David Gauthier. “The IC Commercial Space Council is discussing commercial protection and engaging with our industry partners to have that conversation more fully. Right now everything is on the table and industry and government will work together to find that.”


Commercial partnerships for space were underscored by NRO Director Dr. Christopher Scolese.


“Commercial imagery is providing significant value,” said Scolese. He also referenced Russian anti-satellite behavior.


Throughout the summit, recruitment and the importance of building the next generation of the intelligence workforce was a focus.


It’s hard to compete with industry,” said Abizaid. “But what we don’t lack in government is mission and purpose and purpose-driven work.”