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George C. Barnes

Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency

Mr. George C. Barnes served as the Deputy Director and senior civilian leader of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) from 2017 to 2023. As Deputy Director, Mr. Barnes acted as NSA’s chief operating officer, overseeing strategy execution, establishing policy, guiding operations, and managing the senior civilian leadership.  As an agency deputy in the U.S. national security system, Mr. Barnes supported the U.S. defense and intelligence enterprise in the formulation of national security policies, and positioned NSA as an integrated mission partner enabling U.S. decision advantage and security against foreign threats.
Over his 35-year career at NSA, Mr. Barnes held numerous technical and organizational leadership roles spanning intelligence collection operations, target analysis, foreign liaison and industrial partnership management, workforce support, and global enterprise governance.
Mr. Barnes is a certified Cryptologic Engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. In 2020, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by University of Maryland’s College of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He is a recipient of the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, a Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the NSA Ann Caracristi Award for Operations & Production Excellence, and multiple Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Awards.