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NSA Historical Figures

Dennis M. Chiari

2017 Hall of Honor Inductee

Mr. Chiari entered on duty at NSA in September 1966. He worked in, then supervised, offices that developed advanced technology. In the late 1980s, he led a group selected to study the implications of the Internet for NSA operations. Under his leadership, the group completed a proposed six-month study in half the time.

Mr. Chiari was then tasked with turning the group's recommendations into reality. Working in a new and rapidly evolving technical field, he defined the mission, managed funding issues, acquired infrastructure -- and coined new terminology for a new discipline. His tasks also included recruiting and training personnel to develop a modernized workforce with appropriate skill sets.

As a result of the newness and sweeping scope of the discipline and the speed at which technology was changing, Mr. Chiari was required to negotiate and constantly update boundaries of activities. In addition, he had to enable sharing of critical NSA mission with the armed services and other members of the Intelligence Community. He carefully used cost/benefit analyses and quantitative measures to stake out and defend NSA's positions.

Mr. Chiari's collective accomplishments formed the foundation for what has become one of NSA's most important foreign intelligence Computer Network Operations missions.

In 1996, Dennis Chiari was presented the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. He retired from NSA in 1999.