ANSER Then & Now 1998

1998: ANSER’s Lead: Fabian to David

Of the many photos taken at Analytic Services’ gala in October 1998 to celebrate the unique occasion of 40 years of serving the United States, there is a most unique picture: ANSER’s presidents, former and current, standing together. Dr. Stan Lawwill and Mr. Jack Englund are there with Dr. John Fabian—and Dr. Ruth David, who became ANSER’s fourth president and chief executive officer that same month, concurrent with Dr. Fabian’s retirement.

The leadership development and the corporate occasion crowned a unique year. Here are a few snapshots from it…

ANSER signed an agreement with “Legi-Slate,” a legislative news service and subsidiary of The Washington Post, to jointly market ANSER’s summaries of congressional hearings. The year 1998 marked ANSER’s 15th year of legislative analysis, a track record that at one point substantially involved three divisions (the Policy and Nuclear, Advanced Analysis, and Special Warfare Divisions, in 1993).

ANSER opened an office in Fairmont, WV, in 1998 to support the biometrics work won, in late 1997, for the National Institute of Justice. Specifically, ANSER would help develop a “real time facial recognition” system to expedite justice in two diametric forms: the capture of fugitives and the recovery of missing children.

Working with the West Virginia State Police, the ANSER team located their first missing child later that year—a case in which neither the FBI nor the National White Collar Crime Center could provide assistance. Using computer forensics and internet expertise, ANSER provided information that narrowed the police search to a town in Illinois.

ANSER’s move into West Virginia was but one part of a sextet of geographical movement for the purposes of work in 1998. To start, ANSER regained the work trail for the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, FL, opening another office for new work one year after they closed the previous office when its work ended. ANSER also opened another counterproliferation position at Shaw Air Force Base, SC, and moved into Albuquerque, NM, to support the Air Force base (Kirtland) there—the Air Force Research Laboratory, in particular.

Meanwhile, rounding out this activity were two movements on ANSER’s established fronts: the Colorado Springs office relocated (from the second floor to the first floor in their building, to accommodate their dynamic growth), as did a huge segment of the Arlington-based crew.

The latter entailed all 125 ANSER staff under the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition (SAF/AQ) aegis moving from the Pentagon—which meant vacating their Arlington offices—to newly acquired office space in Rosslyn, VA. The Pentagon renovation project occurring at that time prompted the Rosslyn move of the entire SAF/AQ office.

Facilities also won ANSER an award in 1998: the DoD James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award for 1997. (Award recipients weren’t named until mid-1998.) This was the second time that ANSER won the award, having received the first in 1994. Of the 11,000 industrial security offices worldwide subject to the National Industrial Security Program, only 56 companies received the coveted DoD award for extraordinary performance.

ANSER’s performance overall—corporately (i.e., as a company) and individually (i.e., each member of the company)—was the subject of Dr. David’s study as she became ANSER’s president in late 1998. A decorated deputy director for the CIA, where she spent three years before joining ANSER, Dr. David was actually “on loan” from the Sandia National Laboratories, where she was the Director for Advanced Information Technologies.

Matriculating at Stanford University twice—first for a master’s then for a doctorate, both in electrical engineering—during her tenure with the laboratories, Dr. David rose through the data systems development and testing centers at Sandia. By the time they loaned her to the CIA, she had amassed a 23-year career, publishing more than 20 technical papers, coauthoring two technical reference texts, and even teaching graduate-level courses as an adjunct professor in the electrical engineering department at the University of New Mexico.

She had done a great deal for the Nation when she joined this company in 1998 that had also done a great deal for the Nation—for 40 years—and sought to do more.

“ANSER is already doing a great deal,” Dr. David wrote at the end of 1998, “that is consistent with [the] expectations [of all involved with the company].” It was her first “corporate perspective” column in the Transmissions newsletter as ANSER’s new president, and the expectations she referred to were those of ANSER’s employees, clients, and Board of Trustees. The expectations: 1) choose the “right” work, 2) execute well, and 3) invest wisely.

It was through those expectations, she explained—and for the people behind those expectations—that she sought to grasp Analytic Services and lead it on.

All three expectations would come into play the following year when the corporate leadership chose two directions in which ANSER would strive to go. One of those strategic thrusts would have ties to certain pieces of work ANSER landed in 1998—the title of just one of those pieces indicative of the future aim: the Joint Staff directorate for combating terrorism.