Ann Caracristi began her career with the Army's cryptologic organization during World War II. After a brief civilian career immediately following the war, she joined one of NSA's predecessor organizations as a cryptanalyst.
She served as Chief of Research and Operations organizations, primarily with A Group (Soviet issues) where she was chief from 1975 to 1980.
In addition to her management duties, Ms. Caracristi served in various capacities on committees and panels established to provide technical and career support to cryptanalysts. She mentored many of NSA's cryptanalysts. She also chaired a special panel convened by NSA Director Admiral Bobby Ray Inman to identify the next generation of likely NSA senior executives. Many of those identified by the panel went on to become Deputy Director or high-level seniors.
In April 1980, she was named NSA's sixth Deputy Director (D/DIR) and served in that position until August 1982. As D/DIR, she had special responsibilities for recruitment, training, and personnel.
Ms. Caracristi retired from NSA in 1982, but remained active on several panels convened by components of the Intelligence Community. President Clinton named her to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in 1993, and she has served as consultant to the NSA Scientific Advisory Board (NSASAB). In addition to her service on government panels, she was president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) from 1989 to 1991.