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Cryptologic Hall of Honor

The Cryptologic Hall of Honor was created in 1999 to pay special tribute to the pioneers and heroes who rendered distinguished service to American cryptology.

The standards are high for induction into this great hall. The individuals honored were innovators over their entire careers or made major contributions to the structure and processes of American cryptology. The men and women who have been inducted to the Cryptologic Hall of Honor are all greats in the once silent world of cryptology.

In the early days of America's cryptologic effort, many of the "giants" did both Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance. They made important contributions to both offensive and defensive cryptology. As such, they were among the first inducted into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor. 

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Lester K. Myers, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Lester K. Myers
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Lester K. Myers, former NSA Senior Language Analyst, mentor, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. Whitfield Diffie, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. Whitfield Diffie
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. Whitfield Diffie, computer security pioneer and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Barbara A. McNamara, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Barbara A. McNamara
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Barbara A. McNamara, former NSA Executive Assistant to the Director, former NSA representative to the Department of Defense, former Deputy Director NSA, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. David Kahn, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. David Kahn
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. David Kahn, Journalist, Author, former NSA Scholar-in-Residence, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

George R. Cotter 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
George R. Cotter
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About George R. Cotter, former NSA Chief of Staff, NSA Chief Scientist, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Richard Proto

2013 Hall of Honor Inductee

Richard Proto entered NSA in 1964 as a cryptologic mathematician in the Communications Security Research & Development organization. Across his career, Mr. Proto anticipated the flow of technological innovation, recognized its challenges, and appreciated opportunities it offered for creating capabilities to protect the nation. Serving in key roles in the research organization and the operational side of information security, he worked in security component design, security system architectures, vulnerability finding, and risk management.

One of Mr. Proto's enduring legacies was establishing a culture and community of mathematical expertise that solidified NSA's cryptanalytic preeminence and extended it to include top academic minds in the country. He created programs that brought gifted mathematics students to NSA for sabbaticals and internships.

When large-scale networking was in its infancy, Mr. Proto anticipated cyberspace as a battleground for national defense. He championed efforts to understand emerging threats and develop strategies for dealing with them. To these ends, he created the Applied Mathematics Program to train mathematicians to apply their knowledge to a range of problems beyond the traditional cryptologic mission. He also created the Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences to focus resources on mastering network technology.

Mr. Proto authored 28 technical papers at NSA. He was responsible for the invention of several information security devices, two of which were patented in his name.

Richard Proto retired in 1999 as Chief of Research and Advanced Technology and passed away in 2008.