Engineering Departments

Virginia Tech’s Ken Stiles lauded by CIA for career achievements


Ken Stiles
Blacksburg, VA , August 28, 2013
Virginia Tech College of Engineering

Ken Stiles, a lecturer with the Ted and Karyn Hume Center of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, as well as in the University’s Geography Department, has received the Career Commendation Medal from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“Kenneth Stiles is receiving the Career Commendation Medal in recognition of his exceptional achievement during his 29 years of service that substantially contributed to the missions of the Central Intelligence Agency and Intelligence Community,” according to the CIA documentation.

Stiles is a recognized expert in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geolocation targeting. The CIA and its partners in the U.S. Intelligence Community, a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations, repeatedly sought his expertise for technical targeting and for his ability to operate across organizational boundaries. As a result of his work, he brought new sources and methods to bear in the war on terrorism that directly impacted the success of high risk, high gain technical collection operations saving numerous lives, according to the CIA.

The CIA also cited Stiles for his dedication and loyalty to the objectives of the agency. His depth of experience, superior technical skills, creativity, and dedication to duty justly earned the respect and admiration of those with whom he served, reported the CIA.

Since 2011 Stiles served as the CIA Officer-in-Residence at Virginia Tech until his retirement from the agency in January of 2013. He remains on the Virginia Tech faculty, split between the Hume Center and geography. This fall he is teaching two courses and is developing a new course to be taught Spring 2014.

Stiles has taught a course on the history, organization, and function of the CIA within the Intelligence Community. He also teaches a course that shows students how the Intelligence Community uses GIS applications in its analytic support to both policy makers and U.S. military forces in the field.

Stiles was hired by the CIA in 1984 as an imagery analyst. Additionally, he has worked with accounts covering societal issues, the Middle East, information operations, and most recently counterterrorism. He has worked in three of the four main directorates of the CIA. He has also completed tours in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Europe, and Iraq.


Lynn Nystrom
(540) 231-4371