Hello from OGC's new CEO, Nadine Alameh

First of all, have you subscribed to the OGC Update newsletter? Before we start, and if you haven't already, please subscribe - and if you feel generous, would you do me a favor and send the link to a colleague, friend, or family member who’s not familiar with OGC? I have had some of the most fascinating conversations talking “OGC” with folks outside of our tight geospatial software/applications circles. Let’s spread the word about the power of location!

Spreading the word about OGC and growing a more diverse yet connected global community of enthusiasts is one of the reasons I took on my new job as the CEO of OGC. I won’t use this blog to bore you with the details of my educational background and professional experience (you can find those easily on LinkedIn), instead let’s focus on a few things.

Oh, and please feel free to contact me with feedback/ideas/concerns at any time! I would love to hear from you.

Kicking off the next 25 years of OGC

Thank you!

  • Cheers for the next 25 years!
  • Passion for collaboration
  • Power of information exchange
  • Impact of location on greater good

I need to start by thanking the OGC community and Board of Directors for trusting me with the future of this unique organization, which turns 25 this year! I have spent my career going in and out and around OGC, so it’s such a humbling feeling to be trusted with leading it into its next 25 years.

If you know me, I love challenges. But this one feels special because I know I have a global village behind me (shamelessly using Mark Reichardt’s words from his retirement speech), as well as staff members and a board of directors who are all as passionate as I am about how location impacts so many areas of our lives - and more importantly about how we need to work together across boundaries and domains toward a greater good.

I’m particularly excited to be sharing this new journey with OGC with an amazing leadership team.

What's so special about OGC?

I have interacted with OGC in so many ways over my career that I can’t even keep track anymore: as a researcher (MIT), as a government sponsor representative (NASA), as a small business (several over the years), as a large business (Northrop), etc. My friends joke about me always getting sucked back into OGC every time I try to leave ;)

Share my passion!

  • Impacts of location
  • Information exchange
  • Collaboration forum
  • Diversity

For starters, location is everywhere and impacts pretty much everything. BUT the true reason I get “sucked back in” is really because OGC is a unique consortium. Being the reservoir of knowledge for all things geospatial/location is only a part of it, though. The real draw for me is how we, as a community, use the consortium as a neutral and open forum for collaboration to articulate and advance information exchange and interoperability. I genuinely believe that through the combination of our Standards and Innovation programs, we have perfected the process of bringing passionate people together to focus on solving some critical problems in our world via well-defined information exchange mechanisms.

Believe me, it is such a rewarding experience to witness competitors and colleagues come together to hash things out in our testbeds and working groups! I’ve always said that my favorite part here was the fact that, so often, each person around the table has a different accent :) The diversity (in so many forms) is simply refreshing!

What lies ahead?

I feel so grateful to be living in such exciting times!

First, there’s the deluge of current tech innovation: autonomous cars, drones (big and small), Mars rovers, small sats, commercial space, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Smart Cities, etc. I admire how the OGC membership embraces innovation and feeds that into new or updated best practices and standards! If you haven’t checked out our CTO's OGC Tech Trends blog yet, it’s a gold mine!

Second, there’s the uptake of geospatial standards in more domains today than ever. I appreciate how OGC continues to cater to a diverse array of regions, domains, and applications! I love how so many people actually benefit from using our standards without even knowing that they use them :)

Planning for the future

  • Balance legacy and innovation
  • Focus on the value
  • Grow our impacts
  • Strengthen partnerships

In all of this, we have the challenge of balancing our legacy, our immediate interoperability needs, and our readiness for the future. What am I going to be doing towards that in the near-term?

  • Engage in capturing the value of OGC and our impact on the world
  • Build on our tech trends to identify areas of focus for the future
  • Connect with our membership and our board of directors on vision, mission, and uniques
  • Ensure that OGC is the global forum for location enthusiasts
  • Strengthen our partnerships with relevant standards bodies, membership organizations, and domain experts

Do you really want to know this?

Apparently every intro blog needs to have a fun fact. So here’s mine: I own a Jazzercise Dance Mixx franchise (I co-run a little studio in the greater Wash DC area, and teach classes there whenever I can). I started this more than 15 years ago because I was looking for a way to find female friends in the area when every workplace I’ve worked at has been VERY male-dominated.

More about me

  • I love to dance
  • I’m a champion for diversity

So here’s my shout out for diversity in OGC, in geospatial and in Tech in general!