Who We Are

Joanne Isham


Joanne IshamPresident, Isham Associates, LLC

Joanne O. Isham is an experienced and results-driven executive noted for her leadership skills, strategic acumen, loyalty and commitment to success. She consistently delivers against commitments. Joanne is currently the President of Isham Associates, LLC. Isham Associates partners with clients to identify and shape high value strategic business opportunities, address critical business and program challenges, develop a high-performance culture, and position clients for success.

After a distinguished career as a Senior Executive, Joanne retired from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2006. From 2001 until 2006, she served as Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). In addition to effectively managing day-to-day activities in the midst of a national crisis, she was responsible for the development, acquisition, and operation of mission critical systems. Previously, she was the Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the CIA. As the senior technical advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence, she managed the research, development, deployment, and operation of technical intelligence programs of national importance. During this timeframe, Joanne played a significant role in the creation of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s non-profit venture capital firm designed to allow the CIA to compete with the commercial marketplace with speed and agility.

An Intelligence Community professional since 1976, Joanne held many senior leadership positions in the CIA and other Intelligence Community organizations. Of particular note were her assignments as Director of Congressional Affairs for CIA, Deputy Director of the Resource Management Office, and Director of Program Analysis of the Community Management Staff. In these assignments she was responsible for developing the legislative priorities for the Intelligence Community and the CIA. She also had a trusted role in developing, overseeing, and reviewing the National Intelligence Program budget. Previously, she spent a number of years on assignment to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as Director of Legislative Affairs and as a Program Manager.

Upon her retirement, Joanne joined BAE Systems as the Vice President, Deputy General Manager of Network Systems where she was responsible for operations and identifying strategic opportunities for new mission focus within the Intelligence Community. Subsequently, she joined High Performance Technologies, Inc., as Chief Operating Officer. Her leadership responsibilities included the management and operational oversight of the firm specializing in computational science, enterprise technology and planning, and secure software development. She then joined L-1 Identity Solutions as the Senior Vice President for Washington Operations, where she led the planning, development, and execution of their Federal market strategy.

Joanne has received numerous awards throughout her career including the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, the CIA and NGA Distinguished Intelligence Medals, and the DIA Director’s Award.

She is currently a member of the Director of National Intelligence Advisory Board; the Board of Trustees of Analytic Services, Inc.; the Board of Directors of the Hertz Foundation; the Board of Visitors of the National Intelligence University; and the Board of Directors of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation. Joanne is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, Brian, and their three daughters.