Jo-Ellen Adkins

Director, Human Development (Acting)


Ms. Jo-Ellen Adkins is the Acting Director for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) Human Development

Directorate where she leads the day-to-day operations of the directorate including talent acquisition, talent development/career services, workforce and management services, NGA College, and human capital advanced capabilities. Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Adkins served as the NGA Director’s senior representative to the U.S. State Department (DoS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She also served as the Director of NGA’s Support Team to  the DoS and USAID where she led a dedicated team of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) professionals who provided on-site analytical and reach back support on behalf of the DoS and USAID. 

Before arriving as the NGA lead at the State Department, Ms. Adkins served as the Chief, Governance Division, GEOINT Enterprise Office where she led the GEOINT Community’s Resources, Policy, Plans, Strategies and Performance Measures efforts and conducted engagement throughout the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence. She spearheaded the GEOINT Functional  Manager’s Strategy, Planning Guidance and other relevant initiatives for the GEOINT Community. She also served as the Vice Chair of the National GEOINT Committee. 

Prior to serving as a GEOINT Functional Management leader, Ms. Adkins served as the Division Chief for the NGA Office of  General Counsel’s Mission and International Law Division. In this role, Ms. Adkins was the legal expert on NGA’s legal

Authorities; Homeland Security and Defense issues; International GEOINT Agreements and Arrangements; Intelligence Oversight matters; GEOINT Support to Domestic and International Litigation; International Treaties and Conventions; Global Navigation; and  GEOINT Disclosure and Release issues. She served as the NGA lead to both the Weapons of Mass Destruction and 9/11 Commissions. 

Prior to coming to NGA, Ms. Adkins served as a Principal Member and Section Manager at Northrop Grumman Information Technology TASC where she led a multi-million-dollar program involving a classified Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program. Before arriving at TASC, she served as an Iraq military analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency where  she authored Intelligence Reports and the President’s Daily Brief articles. Ms. Adkins served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force from 1995 to 1999. After graduating with Honors from  the Air Force Officers Intelligence School at Goodfellow Air Force, TX, Ms. Adkins was selected to serve on the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s current intelligence briefing team where she was responsible for writing the morning intelligence report for senior Air Force leaders and providing briefings to senior Air Force officials. She also served as a Russian air threat analyst and a Balkans political and military analyst for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center in the Pentagon. Ms. Adkins received the Air Force Commendation Medal for her leadership during the Kosovo Crisis. 

She is a graduate of the Air Force’s Intelligence Officers Training School, Goodfellow AFB, TX, and the Air Force Judge Advocate  General’s School, Maxwell AFB, AL. She received her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and Political Science from the University of Iowa and received her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. She is a member of the  District of Columbia Bar, the United States Supreme Court Bar and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.