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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.

Joseph Amato

2010 Hall of Honor Inductee

Joseph Amato was an innovative manager whose knowledge, management expertise, and vision significantly enhanced crucial collection resources and analytic efforts concerning a major threat to U.S. security during the Cold War. His ideas throughout the Cold War improved existing methods and developed new sources in collection strategies, particularly relating to the USSR. His contributions and legacy include the development of new concepts and his direct role in the practical implementation of others.

After service with the Air Force during the Korean War, Mr. Amato became an analyst on the emerging Soviet missile program and telemetry analysis. His expertise was crucial to important analytic problems throughout his career. Eventually recognized as one of NSA's foremost experts on Soviet missile and space activities, Mr. Amato also served as the NSA technical consultant to the SALT treaty talks.

In the mid- to late 1960s, Mr. Amato developed new collection sites in Europe and proposed what became a successful and far-reaching realignment of European field stations that greatly improved intelligence collection. His management of an important overseas site helped establish its reputation for innovation and improvisation. His actions in this decade greatly helped to shape the direction of the overhead reconnaissance program.

Under the direction of NSA Director Admiral Bobby R. Inman, Mr. Amato headed an organizational study that resulted in significant internal organizational changes at NSA. His abilities as a manager were recognized from the time of his service in the Korean War, and he held positions of high importance in the four decades following. When he retired in 1984, he had been chief of two large key components at NSA and NSA's representative to the Department of Defense.

Since his retirement, Mr. Amato has continued to consult within the intelligence community and has served on the board of the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation.