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Jack Dangermond

President, Esri

Jack Dangermond
There isn’t a more ubiquitous technology in government than GIS. A technological superhero, Esri’s GIS maps are used by virtually every government agency. From promoting safer communities to aiding the urgent fight against the Ebola virus to helping boost economic development efforts, Esri’s GIS is everywhere.

For those reasons and many more, Esri President Jack Dangermond makes this list as a Doer, a Dreamer and a Driver.

Dangermond, with his wife Laura, founded Esri in 1969, and the company has continued to address issues critical to government while contributing to the common good in the process. During the Ebola crisis, Esri sent teams to West Africa, Geneva and Washington, D.C., to monitor, analyze and map data used by officials to trace the numbers of people infected by the virus and where they had been. Esri also helped locate Ebola treatment centers, including data on their bed capacity and how an infected person would get there. In addition, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency launched a website using the company’s ArcGIS platform to help agencies use the data to plan for treating and caring for potential patients.

GIS revolutionized the way public safety officials do their jobs by providing access to critical information in real time, allowing for better collaboration and sharper decision-making. GIS also provides first responders a visualization tool to increase situational awareness, position assets, and develop models and simulation capabilities for training.

“Our technology has evolved to where it’s capable of consuming, analyzing and displaying information that decision-makers need from any location. These decision-makers can share information and work with any data source you have,” Dangermond said. “Users of GIS are just starting to understand the increased capabilities of the technology, and once that understanding becomes pervasive we will see even further progress in using location intelligence to create change.”

Return to the Top 25 winners for 2016
Jim McKay is the editor of Emergency Management magazine.