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Nancy Tosta


In the early 1990s, Nancy Tosta was the Staff Director to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, with responsibilities for conceptualizing and initiating the U.S. National Spatial Data Infrastructure.  With over 30 years of experience with geospatial technologies, including remote sensing and GIS, Tosta’s knowledge and experience in a broad range of content areas, including natural resource management, information technology, geospatial standards, health information management, urban planning, indicators and environmental assessment, and mapping sciences and technologies gave her ideal qualifications to lead the movement toward a national spatial data infrastructure. She is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Mapping Sciences Committee.

Tosta has been a leader in URISA, receiving its 2002 Leadership Award in recognition of her contributions as both a leader in the GIS industry and most specifically her guidance of URISA during her Presidential term, 1999-2000. During her term, Tosta brought new and innovative ideas for strategic planning to the Board, helping URISA become a more “nimble” organization. She also played a central leadership role during a period where URISA sought to diversify our activities to include a broader range of specialty conferences and other membership benefits.

Prior to her FGDC responsibilities, Tosta was Deputy Director at California’s Teale Data Center. Today she is a Vice President at Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd, supporting a variety of clients, including EPA’s National “Report on the Environment,” the Centers for Disease Control efforts to develop a national Environmental-Public Health Tracking Network, and NOAA regional activities to track progress in salmon recovery. She has held senior-level positions in regional, state, and federal government agencies, overseeing information technology, geospatial analysis and coordination, growth management and regional planning, and national geospatial coordination.  

Nancy Tosta’s contributions in guiding and leading international, national, state, local, intergovernmental, and regional initiatives to use, integrate, and coordinate technology for addressing critical human and natural resource management issues make her a leader in the GIS industry.

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