Speaking at the Federal Intelligence Summit Jan. 16, Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director David Shedd addressed a crowd about staying relevant to meet today and tomorrow's challenges.
Looking back on three decades of his career, he noted today's asymmetric threats and conflicts feature the rise of non-state actors able to do great harm to the United States, even though they are less resourced than yesterday's more clearly defined adversaries. Shedd also spoke about the agency's challenges with big data.
"We're looking for needles within need 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.
Shedd remained optimistic given these realities, but argued the intelligence community has to 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 as a driver toward improvement, he 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.