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Ernest Smiley is Chief Data Scientist at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Other positions he has held at NGA include chief technology officer, chief applications manager and technical executive while providing operational management and integration for 29,000+ computers ($100+million budget).

Why he won: The chief data scientist at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is recognized for the contributions that NGA’s Ernest Smiley has made over the last 20 years in integrating systems for the United States Department of Defense, warfighters, Intelligence professionals and first responders.

What does the NGA do? Anyone who sails a U.S. ship flies a U.S. aircraft, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on the NGA.

What he does: He serves as a key advisor for data science across the Intelligence Community. He develops methods to find patterns and relationships in large data sets, while leading mathematical, statistical, geospatial modeling, and other data-driven problem-solving analysis. Mr. Smiley provides strategic inputs, implements new technologies, and generates business. He develops the overall geospatial perspective for the operational environment, updates and creates models to support cloud-computing environments. He directs the strategy for data science formal training, career development and mentoring throughout NGA and NGA College. the development of NGA’s tools, applications and technical integration processes and activities. He enjoys mentoring information technology personnel and providing guidance to high school and college students.

Experience: Mr. Smiley holds the following certifications: certified in the governance of enterprise IT (CGEIT), certified software analyst (CSA), certified information security manager (CISM), certified in risk and information systems control (CRISC), certified project manager (CPM), certified forensic consultant (CFC) and certified e-commerce consultant (CEC).

He holds a master’s degree in technology management from Georgetown University, a master’s in information technology, Master of Business Administration in finance and accounting, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Data Science from Georgetown University.

During his career, he has served as deputy director, senior engineering manager, senior information technology security manager and program manager for and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Department of Energy (DOE), General Dynamics, Sprint, and Lockheed Martin. Mr. Smiley is a retired United States Army officer.

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