Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet today jointly announced the appointment of James R. Clapper Jr. as the new director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).
Clapper, who will become the first civilian head of the agency, succeeds Army Lt. Gen. James C. King who has headed NIMA since March 1998 and will be retiring from the Army later this year.
Clapper was chosen for the position owing to his grasp of intelligence matters and his knowledge of the needs of NIMA's principal users, the combat commanders. The new director has more than 37 years experience in intelligence, working at all levels and phases of the field. He retired from the Air Force in September 1995 as a lieutenant general after a four-year tour as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Since his retirement, he has served successively as executive vice president of Vredenburg, a systems acquisition services company headquartered in Reston, Va.; executive director, military intelligence for Booz, Allen & Hamilton, McLean, Va.; and most recently as vice president, director of intelligence programs for SRA, International, Fairfax, Va. He was a senior member of the Downing Assessment Task Force, which investigated the terrorist bombing of Khobar Towers in June 1996.
NIMA, established in October 1996, is responsible for the collection of imagery through the use of both national and commercial assets. It also advises others responsible for collecting imagery using theater and tactical reconnaissance assets. NIMA produces timely imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information in support of the nation's military forces, policymakers, and civil customers.