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NSA Historical Figures

Dr. Robert J. Hermann

2007 Hall of Honor Inductee

Since his earliest days in intelligence activities, Dr. Robert Hermann has been an innovator in engineering research and development.

Dr. Hermann earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University, and received a commission in the U.S. Air Force. As an Air Force officer, he was assigned to the National Security Agency; upon leaving the military, he became an NSA civilian in 1959.

He held progressively more responsibility in his assignments in the Operations Directorate, predecessor to the Signals Intelligence Directorate, and the Research and Development organization; he also served an outside assignment with the NATO staff. In each of these assignments, he developed new ways to apply technology to NSA operations. From 1973 to 1975, Dr. Hermann served as NSA's Deputy Director for Research and Engineering.

Dr. Hermann moved beyond NSA, as his unique talents were recognized outside the Agency. From 1977 to 1979, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Communications, Command, Control, and Intelligence (C3I). Following that assignment, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force and, concurrently, as Director of the National Reconnaissance Office.

Dr. Hermann retired from government service in 1982.

Former DCI James Woolsey, in presenting Dr. Hermann with a community-wide award, called him "one of the architects of America's modern world-wide technical intelligence networks," and noted Dr. Hermann's visionary concepts for capabilities "upon which the United States will rely for many years."