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Director, U.S. Army Geospatial Center

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Dr. Joseph F. Fontanella was selected to the Senior Executive Service in January 2011 to serve as the Director of the U.S. Army Geospatial Center in Alexandria, Virginia. The Army Geospatial Center is the Army’s knowledge center for geospatial expertise and provides geospatial information reach-back capability to field units. As Director, he is responsible for supporting the operations, intelligence, acquisition, research & development and modeling & simulation communities with geospatial information. The Center focuses on the development, exploitation, production, and distribution of topographic, geodetic, and geospatial information, tools and services for the Army and other Department of Defense and National programs. The Center has forward deployed and reach back elements conducting the collection, dissemination and analysis of Geospatial data supporting units in contact; provides direct acquisition support to multiple Program Executive Officers and Program Managers involved in national and tactical programs; and conducts research into Geospatial data management, information constructs, data generation, enterprise technology, applications and sensors.

He also serves as the Army’s Geospatial Information Officer, with responsibility for collecting and validating geospatial requirements, formulating geospatial policy, setting priorities and securing resources supporting the Army Geospatial Enterprise, and synchronizing geospatial solutions at both HQDA and Secretariat levels of Army governance.


• 2006 – 2010: Deputy Director, U.S. Army Geospatial Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alexandria, VA

• 2004 – 2006: Assistant Director for Plans and Program Management, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alexandria, VA

• 2003: Assistant Chief of Staff, Engineer (C-7)(Fwd), 3d United States Army and Coalition Forces Land Component Command, Operation Iraqi Freedom. Retired from the Army at the rank of Colonel in 2004.

• 2000 - 2003: Executive Director, Directorate of Research & Development, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C.

• 1998-2000: Joint Plans Officer & Chief, U.S. European Command Support Division, National Imagery & Mapping Agency, Reston, VA

• 1995-1997: Battalion Commander, 2d Engineer Battalion, 2d Infantry Division, Republic of Korea.


• Liberty University, Doctorate, Educational Leadership, 2008

• National Defense University, MS, National Resource Strategy, 1998

• Michigan State University, MA, Geography, 1989

• State University of New York, College of Environmental Science & Forestry, BLA, Landscape Architecture, 1979

• Syracuse University, BS, Environmental Science, 1978


• Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 1997-1998

• Command and General Staff College, 1992-1993


• Certified Acquisition Professional (Level III): Systems Planning, Research, Development & Engineering - Science & Technology Management, 2006

• Licensed Landscape Architect: State of Maryland, 1999; Commonwealth of Virginia, 1998; State of Texas, 1993


• Meritorious Civilian Service Award

• Army Engineer Association – Silver de Fleury Medal

• Legion of Merit

• Bronze Star Medal

• Defense Meritorious Service Medal

• Meritorious Service Medal

• Meritorious unit citation - Director of Central Intelligence

• Certificate of Merit, American Society of Landscape Architects

• Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

• Alpha Xi Sigma - Forestry Honorary

• Fulbright Scholar


• Association of the United States Army

• Military Officers Association of America

• Army Engineer Association

• Society of American Military Engineers

• Association of American Geographers

• American Society of Landscape Architects