Speeches & Interviews

Speeches & Interviews

Good morning, and thank you for the invitation to kick off today’s events. It’s great to be here, I’m grateful for an opportunity to get away from the Beltway, even for a few hours. These days, Harry Truman’s observation applies: “If you want a friend in Washington … buy a dog.” Last week’s political brinksmanship has become the status quo. And it isn’t free.  Even if we don’t shut down, when we wait until the very last minute to avoid a shutdown our government and our contract workforces pay for it.
It’s great to be back on this stage with this integrated AFCEA and INSA group. I’ve spent the past 5 years preaching the gospel of “intelligence integration.” It’s been my major theme during my tenure as DNI. It’s really the reason my office exists.
This is my eleventh GEOINT Symposium, going back to the first one in 2003. I typically open by talking about the ways the geospatial intelligence community is leading intelligence and how you feel like family to me, and I recite my lines about how great it is to get away from Washington.
Thank you to USGIF and IFAW for the opportunity to speak on this very important topic.  Although wildlife security and illicit trafficking has many facets, I will focus my comments on the role of intelligence in supporting efforts to reduce and eliminate illegal animal trade
Thank you for the introduction and for welcoming me here today in place of Director Clapper. He had a personal issue that pulled him away, and there is simply no way he could be here today. I know it’s the standard line to say, “I know he wishes he could be here.” In this case, that’s a vast understatement. He was very much looking forward to making this speech – which now, I get to make. [laughter]