Joanne O. Isham Former Deputy Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Joanne O. Isham

Former Deputy Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Joanne Isham is currently an independent board director and executive consultant working with a variety of clients in the defense and intelligence sectors developing strategies, identifying high-value opportunities, addressing critical challenges, and transforming their business.

Joanne retired from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after a distinguished career as a Senior Executive. From 2001 until 2006, she served as Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). In addition to managing day-to-day activities amid a national crisis, she was responsible for the development, acquisition, and operation of mission-critical systems. Previously she was the Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the CIA. As the senior technical advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence, she managed the research, development, deployment, and operation of technical intelligence programs of national importance. During this timeframe, Joanne played a significant role in the creation of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s non-profit venture capital firm.

Throughout her career as an Intelligence Community professional, Joanne held many senior leadership positions in the CIA and other Intelligence Community organizations. Of note were her assignments as Director of Congressional Affairs for the CIA, Deputy Director of the Resource Management Office, and Director of Program Analysis of the Community Management Staff. In these assignments, she was responsible for developing the legislative priorities for the Intelligence Community and the CIA. She also had a trusted role in developing, overseeing, and reviewing the National Intelligence Program budget. Previously, she spent several years on assignment to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as Director of Legislative Affairs and a Program Manager.

Upon retirement, Joanne joined BAE Systems as a Senior Vice President and Deputy General Manager of Network Systems, where she was responsible for operations and identifying strategic opportunities for new mission focus within the Intelligence Community. Subsequently, she joined High Performance Technologies, Inc., as Chief Operating Officer. Her leadership responsibilities included the management and operational oversight of the firm specializing in computational science, enterprise technology and planning, and secure software development. She then joined L-1 Identity Solutions as the Senior Vice President for Washington Operations, the leader in planning, developing, and executing the Federal market strategy. Upon leaving L-1. She became an independent consultant and was a co-founder of several consulting firms, focused on the national security community.

Joanne has received numerous awards throughout her career including the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, the CIA and NGA Distinguished Intelligence Medals, and the DIA Director’s Award.

Joanne is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.