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Gates names first woman to head major intel agency

Feb. 23, 2010 - 03:18PM   |  
By STEPHEN LOSEY   |   Comments
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, above, announced Feb. 22 that Letitia Long will become director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, above, announced Feb. 22 that Letitia Long will become director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. (FILE / GANNETT NEWS SERVICE)

The next director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will be the first woman to head a major intelligence agency, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday.

Letitia Long, currently the Defense Intelligence Agency's deputy director, will take over NGA this summer, Gates said. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Murrett, the current NGA director, will stay on for several months to ensure a smooth transition.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair called Long's appointment historic.

"She is highly respected throughout the intelligence community and Department of Defense," Blair said. "Her strong leadership skills and understanding of the entire intelligence enterprise will ensure that NGA can continue to deliver outstanding information to policymakers and operators in support of our national security objectives."

Long has more than three decades of engineering and intelligence experience. She has also served as deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, deputy director of naval intelligence, and coordinator of intelligence community activities at the CIA.

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