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Published Feb. 4, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Dr. Joseph F. Fontanella was recently appointed to the Senior Executive Service to serve as the Director of the U.S. Army Geospatial Center (AGC), and is responsible for supporting the operations, intelligence, acquisition, research and development as well as modeling and simulation communities with geospatial information. He is also chartered as the Army’s Geospatial Information Officer (GIO), with responsibility for collecting and validating geospatial requirements, formulating geospatial policy, setting priorities and securing resources supporting the Army Geospatial Enterprise, as well as synchronizing geospatial solutions at both Headquarters, Department of the Army and Secretariat levels of Army governance.

Mr. Bob Burkhardt, former Director of the AGC and the Army’s first GIO, retired on January 28th-marking the end of a distinguished 35-year federal and military career. He successfully promulgated the Army Geospatial Enterprise and distinguished himself through exemplary direction of the Army’s development and fielding of geospatial enterprise-enabled systems and technology programs for Soldiers, facilitating future battlefield network-centric operations. Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp, Chief of Engineers, presented him with the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service-the highest honorary award granted by the Secretary of the Army, and the Outstanding Service to the Army award at Burkhardt’s retirement ceremony, acknowledging his initiative, competence, and selfless service in the execution of programs supporting Soldiers and civilians.

Dr. Fontanella began his federal career as Assistant Director for Plans and Program Management with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Alexandria, Va., after retiring from the Army at the rank of Colonel after 26 years. He served as Deputy Director of the AGC from 2006-2010. Fontanella holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, Master’s degrees in both National Resource Strategy and Geography, and Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Science and Landscape Architecture, while his military education includes attendance at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces as well as the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is a Level III certified acquisition professional, as well as a licensed landscape architect in the States of Maryland and Texas, as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The AGC develops, exploits, produces, and distributes topographic, geodetic, and geospatial information, tools and services for the Army and other Department of Defense and National programs. It has forward-deployed and reachback 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. To learn more about the AGC, please visit

Release no. 11-006