NSA Historical Figures

Minnie McNeal Kenny

2009 Hall of Honor Inductee

African American Honoree

Women in American Cryptology Honoree

Minnie McNeal Kenny, a native of Philadelphia and graduate of the prestigious Philadelphia High School for Girls, began her career working at the Commerce Department in Philadelphia. She then made to move to Washington, D.C. and began working at the Census Bureau in Washington.

Ms. McNeal Kenny was later hired as a communications clerk at the National Security Agency (NSA), where she eventually entered an intensive training program to prepare her for a professional career as a linguist. Upon completion of the training, she was assigned to All Other or Non-Soviet (ALLO) target exploitation problems.

During the course of her 43-year career, Ms. McNeal Kenny received NSA's two highest awards: the Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1980) and the Exceptional Civilian Service Award (1984). Her recognitions went beyond NSA. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. singled her out for the Meritorious Executive Award. The Director of Central Intelligence also gave her the Intelligence Community's Distinguished Service Award.

Ms. McNeal Kenny filled several high level positions in her career including the Deputy Chief of an analytic support division, a Division Chief in the Office of Techniques and Standards, the Deputy Assistant Director for Training with direct responsibility for day-to-day operations of the National Cryptologic School, and the Assistant Director for Administration. She also represented the Department of Defense on the Congressional Task Force on Women, Minorities, and the Handicapped in Science and Technology. She finished her career in 1993 as NSA's Director for Equal Employment Opportunity and was a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES-5).