URISA—Developing GIS Leaders

URISA has recently introduced numerous programs to help our members achieve their professional goals. We even adopted the tagline, "The Association for GIS Professionals" to illustrate the point!

URISA logoWe also rebranded the URISA annual conference as GIS-Pro: URISA's Annual Conference for GIS Professionals and renamed our bimonthly newsletter The GIS Professional.

The URISA Leadership Academy (ULA) is a perfect example of this emphasis. The ULA is a five-day course that focuses on developing crucial GIS leadership skills. During the academy, participants learn key GIS leadership and management techniques, successful team development, organizational capacity building, program investment and justification, GIS politics, change management, situation assessment, and problem solving, all required skills for a successful GIS leader. Visit to check out the ULA, to be held May 16–20, 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Elsewhere in this issue of ArcNews ("Managing GIS" column), you will learn about the GIS Capability Maturity Model that URISA is developing for local governments. The model will allow a local GIS operation to gauge its capability and maturity against a variety of standards and measures to identify areas of improvement. GIS leaders are using their experience and expertise to make this important effort happen.

In fact, all the "Managing GIS" articles that have appeared in ArcNews since 2006 have been authored by URISA members who are happy to share their lessons learned—what a collection of GIS management talent!

URISA is reaching out to young GIS professionals through the establishment of its Vanguard Cabinet. Young professionals are not only the future of our organization but also the future of the profession.

Part of professionalism is being sure to "pay it forward." URISA's GISCorps (, which provides GIS volunteer assistance to a wide range of programs around the world, is a great example of how URISA members are using their GIS talents to help underserved populations and support disaster recovery efforts.

URISA connects great ideas and great people to inspire leadership and achievement. Give URISA another look by visiting today.

For more information, contact Wendy Nelson, URISA executive director (e-mail: Download the new Managing GIS best practices from URISA and Esri.

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