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NGA to Increase Opportunities for Neurodiverse Workforce; Dr. Stacey Dixon Quoted

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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) will strive to increase workforce opportunities for neurodiverse individuals, NextGov reported on Thursday. NGA launched its Neurodiverse Federal Workforce pilot program in Dec. 2020. Under the program, the agency will foster partnerships with MITRE and Melwood to provide jobs for people with disabilities. 

“NGA mission success is contingent on a world-class workforce with a wide diversity of opinions and expertise,” NGA deputy director and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient Dr. Stacey Dixon. “Neurodiverse talent can bring new perspectives to the NGA workforce and make important contributions to the mission.”

The program resulted from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and General Services Administration’s Government Effectiveness Advanced Research Center (GEAR), which aims to address the federal sector’s management and workforce challenges in innovative ways. 

“This work will be an invaluable building block for creating meaningful change across the federal workforce,” said Teresa Thomas, program lead for neurodiverse talent enablement for MITRE. “NGA has stepped forward to lead by example, collaborating on an internship program that will benefit interns on the spectrum and NGA.”

The Neurodiverse Federal Workforce pilot begins with a one-week training and interview workshop. Following the workshop, NGA will place interns in various geospatial and imagery analysis roles that support the agency’s mission. 

“This is a tremendous learning opportunity for NGA,” Dixon said. “It allows us to demonstrate that neurodiverse talent adds significant value to the geospatial-intelligence tradecraft and helps the agency better support its existing neurodiverse employees.”