Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director David Shedd addressed a crowd at the Federal Intelligence Summit on January 16 and spoke about the importance of staying relevant to meet today and tomorrow’s challenges.
Looking back on three decades of his career, Shedd noted that today’s asymmetric threats and conflicts feature the rise of non-state actors who are able to do great harm to the United States, even though they possess fewer resources than yesterday’s more clearly defined adversaries.
Shedd also spoke about the agency’s challenges with Big Data, according to an account published online by DIA. “We’re looking for needles within needle stacks, while trying to define what the needle is, in an era of declining resources and increasing threats,” he said, painting a picture of the diminished funding facing many federal agencies.
Given these realities, Shedd remained optimistic, but argued that the intelligence community must remain relevant by shaping the work force, keeping people motivated, giving them opportunities — whether through education or the ability to move from job to job — and embracing technology while managing it.
Viewing the current fiscal environment as not only a challenge, but also a driver toward improvement, Shedd added, “It gives us the opportunity to implement changes that drive efficiencies.”
The summit featured other high-level speakers from the intelligence community, as well as a panel discussion that included DIA’s Chief of Innovation Dan Doney.