Human Terrain System Program Manager Dismissed: Georgia Tech Wants Out

Steve Fondacaro is now the former program manager of the US Army’s Human Terrain System. He was dismissed on or about 11 June 2010. Sources speculate there are many reasons that may have led to his departure to include personal issues.

His departure comes just as the HTS propaganda film Talibanistan was released by National Geographic. An excellent breakdown of the film is was produced by Max Forte here. Somehow, Fondacaro and senior social scientist Montgomery McFate found time to star as members of a Human Terrain Team as the HTS program collapsed around them. Go figure.

At any rate, below is the good bye Fondacaro notice from Maxie McFarland, Fondacaro’s boss. Note some of the details in the letter concerning temp HTS PM and “civilian hire.”

The interim HTS manager Colonel Hamilton has an unenviable task not the least of which will be dealing with some colorful personalities. Sources hope Hamilton and the next PM will right the ship.

“It is with great regret that I announce the departure of Mr Steve Fondacaro from the HTS program. Steve has done a tremendous job in standing up HTS and providing our forces with this valuable capability. He is a tireless leader and we will miss his passion and superb understanding of Human Terrain. Effective 11 June 2010, Steve Fondacaro departs the G2 and the HTS program. We wish Steve the best in his future endeavors and thank him for the hard work and dedication to bring the HTS from concept to reality.

COL Sharon Hamilton, Deputy G2, is the Director, HTS until further notice We will hire a civilian Director in the near future. Until that time, I expect you to fully support COL Hamilton in her new role.

We are at an important mission transition point for HTS and I look forward to continuing our team effort to provide essential support to our deployed forces. V/R Maxie”

Lastly, the public spokesperson for Georgia Tech Research Institute, as reported earlier this month, stated that GTRI will not seek further work with HTS upon completion of its current contract.