The Georgia Association of Regional Commissions (GARC) is pleased to announce Susan Miller as the State’s first Geospatial Information Officer (GIO). Ms. Miller was selected by the GARC following a highly-competitive search process involving qualified applicants from across the nation. Ms. Miller brings a wealth of GIS experience to the position having worked in the field of GIS for over 20 years, including an award-winning term of service with Esri, the de facto leader in GIS software development, and as a transformative GIO for the Nature Conservancy, an international NGO heavily reliant on geospatial technology for its operational success.

The GIO will be based in Atlanta and located at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). DCA will provide office space and administrative support for the position and the GARC, as the primary funding entity, will provide oversight to the GIO through its newly-established Georgia Geospatial Network (GGN). Initially, the GGN will be comprised of GIS professionals representing each of the State’s twelve Regional Commissions. Membership in the GGN will expand as state agencies and new funding partners for the GIO are incorporated.

As the inaugural GIO for the State of Georgia, Ms. Miller will coordinate and partner with local governments, as well as state and federal agencies, to oversee the compilation of critical base maps and to establish a framework for statewide GIS-based service delivery. Core base maps involving parcels, addresses, land use and building inventories will be generated through this effort and will be translated into standardized GIS formats for optimal integration and use by local government, state agencies and the private sector at large. This level of coordination will lead to well-planned communities which are, in turn, better equipped to attract and expand industry, enhance public safety and protect the property of Georgia’s citizens.

The overarching purpose of the GIO will be to leverage the use and application of geospatial data in public policy and decision-making to improve the overall safety and economic prosperity of the State of Georgia and its citizens. The GIO will utilize existing and established relationships with Regional Commissions, local government, state agencies and related entities to achieve this goal. This level of facilitation will provide better access to GIS data, lower acquisition costs, enhance emergency management for multi-jurisdiction events and promote overall economic development.