Top 50 Hokie Spotlight: Letitia Long
Letitia Long graduated from Virginia Tech in 1982 with a Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering. She may not be a household Hokie name but she has a resume that is stocked with bullet points and impressive feats. I will list a few of those awards for you right here:
- The Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished executive
- The Medal of Merit given by the King of Norway
- She has a rank of Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor of France
- The Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service
- And many more
Long entered the Navy in 1978 serving in a civilian service role. She continued there after her graduation from Virginia Tech. For six years she worked on submarine acoustic programs. She went on to serve in various roles in Naval Intelligence in the 1990s. She also served on the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) including positions as Deputy Director of Information Systems and Services, and she was the DIA’s first Chief Information Officer.
Arguably, Long’s career crowning moment came when she was appointed the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) on August 9th, 2010. With this appointment, she became the first female ever to lead a major national intelligence agency. Even if you are unfamiliar with the NGA, you would be glad it is around. The agency uses satellite imagery, analysis and information about a specific point and place to inform various clients from first responders to the military. They were involved in various high profile US military operations including the raid on Osama Bin Laden as well as servicing weather and natural disasters aiding in massive hurricanes or earthquakes. She served in this role until 2014.
She is now Chairman of the Board of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). This non-profit company serves to examine policy issues in the intelligence space and work collaboratively to achieve solutions. The INSA has representatives with diverse backgrounds all working to establish a standard for the intelligence community. She also serves on the board of major aerospace and defense manufacturer Raytheon and the technological and aerospace company Urthecast.
She has continued to stay connected with her roots in Blacksburg as well. She received the University Distinguished Achievement Award in 2017. She also currently serves on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors as the Vice Rector. Long has been a major part of our nation’s intelligence community in a variety of roles for decades. She has proven herself worthy of Top 50 Hokie status, which she can proudly add to that stacked resume she has.