Mr. Edward T. Cope, DISL-01, is the Director, Basic and Apllied Research at NGA. In this role he is responsible for conceptualizing, communicating, and actively exploring innovative strategies to conduct basic and applied research and development for GEOINT that supports future science and technologies in core multidisciplinary areas such as geodesy and geophysics (gravity models, World Geodetic System), sensors (remote sensing), image science (photogrammetry), information technology (massive data challenge), as well spatial aspects of social sciences in support of human geography applications. He previously served as Functional Management Executive for NSG Research and Development at NGA Headquarters since November 2007 He was responsible for developing and executing all plans and programs to more effectively and efficiently harness the collective resources of the NSG R&D community to increase overall R&D situation awareness, enhance the value of GEOINT R&D to the nation’s toughest intelligence challenges, and increase the tempo for translating GEOINT R&D into operational capabilities supporting the warfighters around the world.
Retired from the USAF after 32 years of service, Mr. Cope was appointed as a Defense Intelligence Senior Leader on 17 Oct 2005 by former NGA Director, Gen James R. Clapper. He was initially assigned in a dual capacity as Deputy Director of the Advanced Radar GEOINT (also known as Space Radar) Integrated Program Office (SR IPO) simultaneously reporting to the USAF two-star SR IPO Director and the NGA Director of InnoVision while concurrently was serving as the NGA Source Directorate Senior leading IOC-SW operational activities until 31 Dec 2006. Space Radar System Program Director in formulating and implementing the acquisition strategy to build and deploy the Nation's future National Technical Means Radar capability designed to meet the NSG Radar GEOINT requirements. Mr. Cope previously served in NGA InnoVision while in the United States Air Force (USAF) as an active duty Colonel guiding the evolution and innovation of new Advanced Geospatial-Intelligence (AGI) products and services in partnership with NRO and the NSG. Over twenty years of his USAF career were served in the NRO primarily focused on acquisition and operations of cutting-edge space Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. He has served in numerous NRO and USAF leadership positions such as the NRO Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO), Deputy Director of IMINT Systems Engineering, and leading Mission Performance Enhancement acquisition initiatives for the Secretary of the Air Force Special Projects at Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California. His USAF career started in October of 1973 in the enlisted ranks as an Electronic Computer Repairman at Headquarters North American Defense Command (NORAD), Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Airman Cope quickly moved up to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant after being selected for Officer Training School in Medina AFB, Texas achieving Distinguished Graduate recognition in March of 1976. As a young officer, he served at Buckley Air National Guard Base in Denver, Colorado on the Defense Support System Missile Warning System and at Headquarters Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Omaha, Nebraska developing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) targeting materials for execution of the Single Integrated Operations Plan (SIOP). He also had the privilege to lead critical space and communication operations as Commander of Mission Control Complex IX at Onizuka Air Force Station in California Commander of the Air Force Communications Support Facility at White Sand Missile Range in New Mexico.
His awards include Defense Superior Service Medal and multiple Joint Service and USAF Commendation Medals. Mr. Cope has a B.S Degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio. His professional education includes Squadron Officer School, Armed Forces Staff College, and the USAF Air War College. Mr. Cope is single and resides in Vienna, Virginia.