16 January 2012. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC(R)) Board of Directors has unanimously elected The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris as Chairman of the Board of the Open Geospatial Consortium.

Mr. Harris succeeds OGC Founder David Schell, who will continue to serve as Chairman Emeritus.  Jeff has been an OGC director since 2003 and a member of the Board's Executive Committee.  He has been a key participant in the Consortium's strategic and business planning processes and an influential spokesman for OGC and for the benefits of open standards in both the public and private sector enterprise worldwide.

Jeff Harris has had a long and distinguished career spanning nearly 35 years in the space industry.  He recently retired from Lockheed Martin, where he served as President of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space and President of Lockheed Martin Special Programs.  Mr. Harris also served as President of Space Imaging Corporation, the first company to commercially provide high-resolution satellite imagery and information products of the Earth for cost-effective solutions to today’s global business needs. Prior to joining the private sector, he served with distinction in senior leadership positions in government.  He is now a private consultant to both industry and government on geospatial and space technology programs.

Jeff Harris has a deep understanding of and commitment to the OGC mission.  He also knows the industry, the technology and user needs; he's uniquely qualified to bring the OGC into a larger sphere of influence.  “I am excited and honored to serve as OGC Chairman,” he said.  “David Schell has set the bar high for leading this organization into the future, and I look forward to working with him, as well as the entire board and our first-rate staff.  The OGC engine room is clearly defining the international standards that both enable and accelerate the adoption of tools and technology across the entire geospatial spectrum.  The Consortium’s work has been critical to the seamless delivery of discoverable content, ranging from individual users to industry and government, which will be increasingly important as we address future challenges.  I welcome the opportunity to be a part of this journey.”

As Chairman Emeritus, David Schell will continue to be actively involved with the OGC board and will serve as chief strategist for the organization, focusing on resource strategies and strategic relations.  Schell commented:  “For the last 25 years I have been working to make geospatial interoperability a reality. I was fortunate that so many talented people shared my vision and dedicated themselves to do what I could never have done alone. I am very proud of what we have accomplished, and I am equally proud that an executive and visionary of Jeff Harris' stature and proven leadership has agreed to assume OGC's Chairmanship. Jeff Harris and OGC CEO Mark Reichardt comprise a unique leadership team that will ensure the continuation of OGC's innovative role in the standards community and future recognition as a laboratory for spatial information policy and decision support processes.”

“I look forward with great enthusiasm to working with David and Jeff,” said Mark Reichardt. “We all owe David Schell a tremendous debt for creating and growing this organization and bringing together the team that we have, including our distinguished international board of directors. I'm delighted that David will continue working with us, and that we will continue to move forward under Jeff’s leadership.”

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 430 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact/.