NCMF Quarterly Programs

NCMF Quarterly Programs

NCMF Quarterly Cryptologic Program Speakers

The Foundation sponsors quarterly programs featuring speakers well versed on subjects of professional interest to its members, usually in the areas of cryptology and intelligence. Guest speakers are well-known experts in the field and have often authored books which are made available during the program.

The third quarterly program, held in October, is also the General Membership Meeting & Annual Symposium. Save the Date: This year's General Meeting & Annual Symposium takes place 18 October. Every other year, the October program coincides with the NSA's 2-day Cryptologic History Symposium, thus creating a 3 day cryptologic event. This will happen again in 2017 as the CCH Symposium takes place on (Save the Date) 19-20 October. For a recap and photos from past October programs, please see the "Previous Programs" section of the General Membership Meeting & Annual Symposium page.

The final quarterly program traditionally features presentations related to intelligence or cryptologic events surrounding Pearl Harbor. Save the Date: This year's Pearl Harbor program will take place on 7 December. See the "Previous Programs" area of the Quarterly Programs page for details about previous year's programs.

Upcoming Program ~ 20 June 2017

Spring 2017 Program

Registration is now open for the 2017 NCMF Summer Cryptologic Program on 20 June 2017 featuring Dr. David Priess, former CIA Intelligence Officer and author of the best seller The President’s Book of Secrets. The program will take place at CACI, Inc., 2720 Technology Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. The fee is $20 (members and non-members) and includes lunch. There will be special gifts available for those non-members who chose to sign up for membership at the program. Ready to register - CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO REGISTRATION.

***Please note there is a special WWI program scheduled to take place immediately after our program, but at the Museum which is very close by. We hope you will consider making it a day of cryptology! To register for this program - visit the Museum's EventBrite page for this event. You can also learn more via our Event Calendar page.

About Dr. David Priess

Dr. David Priess is author of The President’s Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings. For this breakout book, he became the first author to interview every living former President and Vice President, as well as dozens of other leading national security and intelligence leaders of the past 50 years—CIA Directors, National Security Advisors, White House Chiefs of Staff, Secretaries of State, Secretaries of Defense, and Intelligence Community executives. 

Priess served at the CIA during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as an intelligence officer, manager, and daily intelligence briefer, earning multiple awards and commendations. During the Bush administration, he took the President’s Daily Brief and other intelligence materials every morning to senior recipients. 

Priess obtained his PhD in political science from Duke University and has taught international relations classes at Duke University, George Washington University, and George Mason University.

His writings have appeared in outlets ranging from Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, War on the Rocks, and The Cipher Brief online to the Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Skeptic magazine, and Security Studies

Priess has presented in venues ranging from briefing rooms at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department to packed auditoriums across the country to national television, appearing often on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News to discuss intelligence issues, campaign politics, and the presidency.

Learn more about Dr. Priess via his website and follow him on Twitter (@davidpriess).

*** Please note that also on 20 June (immediately following the NCMF Summer Program) - the NCM and CCH will host a special WWI Panel Discussion at the Museum - featuring several guest speakers and presentations. There will also be a presentation of the new WWI exhibit. Click HERE to visit the Museum's EventBrite page to learn more and register to attend this program.

About The Book

The President's Book of Secrets by David Priess

The President's Book of Secrets - by Dr. David Priess

Every president has had a unique and complicated relationship with the intelligence community. While some have been coolly distant, even adversarial, others have found their intelligence agencies to be among the most valuable instruments of policy and power.

Since John F. Kennedy's presidency, this relationship has been distilled into a personalized daily report: a short summary of what the intelligence apparatus considers the most crucial information for the president to know that day about global threats and opportunities. This top–secret document is known as the President's Daily Brief, or, within national security circles, simply “the Book.” Presidents have spent anywhere from a few moments (Richard Nixon) to a healthy part of their day (George W. Bush) consumed by its contents; some (Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush) consider it far and away the most important document they saw on a regular basis while commander in chief.

The details of most PDBs are highly classified, and will remain so for many years. But the process by which the intelligence community develops and presents the Book is a fascinating look into the operation of power at the highest levels. David Priess, a former intelligence officer and daily briefer, has interviewed every living president and vice president as well as more than one hundred others intimately involved with the production and delivery of the president's book of secrets. He offers an unprecedented window into the decision making of every president from Kennedy to Obama, with many character–rich stories revealed here for the first time.

Previous Programs

Short summaries of some of our previous programs are provided below. Visit the NCMF Members' Meeting page for details about previous annual meeting programs. 

  • The NCMF's 2017 Spring program, "A New Perspective on NSA's Covert Activities," took place on 29 March in Annapolis Junction, MD. The program featured a presentation by author Mr. Stephen Budiansky from 1000-1130, followed by book-signing of Mr. Budiansky's recent history thriller entitled "Code Warriors: NSA's Code Breakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union."

    During this timely program, Mr. Budiansky spoke about his latest book (noted above) that draws on an array of recently declassified documents to explore the NSA’s long SIGINT struggle against the Soviets, and traces the historical forces behind the intelligence controversies making headlines today.

    Click the image or title to learn more and please stay tuned for event photos.

  • On 5 December 2016, the NCMF hosted the 2016 Pearl Harbor Program in Annapolis Junction, MD with special guest speaker Dr. Linton Wells, II. Dr. Wells is former Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP) at National Defense University (NDU), and the founder of the TIDES Project. During his presentation, he spoke about how the Imperial Japanese Navy was prepared for battle, but not for war. Click on the program title or Dr. Wells' photo to learn more.

  • The NCMF's 2016 Summer Cryptologic Program, featuring a presentation by former DIRNSA and Director, CIA, General Michael Hayden, took place on 25 July in Annapolis Junction, MD. During the presentation, General Hayden discussed the reasoning behind his responses to terrorism and other challenges the United States faced as the technological revolution proceeded. He defended these decisions strongly and provided counter arguments to accusations of wrongdoing which regularly appeared in the media in the wake of the Snowden revelations. One of the key players in the modern world of intelligence, he provided an unvarnished view of what is required to defend the US from the many threats it faces and why is is necessary to take unpopular measures to protect this nation and its allies. Gen Hayden's book, "Playing the to Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror," was published in early 2016. PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE OR TITLE TO VIEW RECAP AND PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT.

  • The NCMF's 2016 Spring Cryptologic Program, featuring a presentation by Dr. David J. Sherman, NSA Associate Director for Policy and Records, was held on 9 March 2016. Dr. Sherman, who oversees the agency’s information security policy and its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act, discussed the NSA redaction program and the challenges faced in declassifying and protecting sensitive information in the volumes of documents to be released to the general public. Click on the Event Name or Speaker Photo to learn more.

  • Our (early) Summer Cryptologic Program on 20 May 2015 featured special guest speaker Dr. Andrew Hodges, author of Alan Turing: The Enigma. Dr. Hodges' book inspired the highly-acclaimed film, The Imitation Game and we were thrilled to have him with us for the program and to visit the National Cryptologic Museum. Click to learn more and see photos from the event.

  • 2015 Spring Cryptologic Program

    2015 Spring Cryptologic Program

    On Wednesday, 4 March 2015, Col. Philip Thompson USAF (Ret) spoke at the NCMF Spring Cryptologic Program about his experiences as the defense and air attaché in Warsaw during the early 1980s. It was an excellent presentation of the duties of an attaché and the dangers of roaming the countryside filming hidden installations and equipment. He observed that concentrating on items to be photographed diverts attention from surrounding sites, objects and people, which may be of equal or greater interest. He also spoke about the grinding poverty of a once prosperous country and the fear of strangers and friends that all Poles exhibited. He discussed the role of the Catholic Church and the bravery of priests, some of whom were murdered by the regime. Despite such dire conditions, Poles, while trying to avoid detection, expressed gratitude to foreigners who they believed were working to relieve their suffering. The uprisings at the Gdansk Shipyard and the rise of Lech Walesa were only the beginning. The prosperity they now enjoy is a direct result of these events.

  • 2014 Pearl Harbor Lecture Series (14th Annual)
    Scholar Dr. John Gordon IV, author of Fighting for MacArthur: The Navy and Marfine Corps' Desperate Defense of the Philippines, senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School was our featured speaker. His presentation included first-hand information gleaned from Japanese sources. He also highlighted the SIGINT contributions provided by collection from Station C, our intercept site on Corregidor, as well as MacArthur's failure to use intelligence available to him. Click above to visit the Event Page.

  • 2014 Summer Cryptologic Program
    Dr. Michael Warner, U.S. Cybercom Historian, joined us for "The History of International Intelligence" and spoke about his experiences, as well as his book, "The Rise and Fall of Intelligence: An International Security History." See the Program HERE.

  • 2014 Spring Program
    Mr. Jim Ohlson, former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, gave an exciting presentation regarding the Bob Hanssen spy case.

  • 2013 December Program
    Dr. Donald Goldstein, co-author of "At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor" gave a presentation highlighting insights into the Japanese outlook on the Pearl Harbor attack and the subsequent disastrous aftermath.

  • 2013 Summer Program
    Mr. Melvin Goodman, former senior CIA analyst, author and senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, discussed his latest book, “National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism.” Mr. Goodman gained an exceptional knowledge of national security while serving under every Administration from Johnson to Bush, Sr. Mr. Goodman decries that the Government’s persistent misdirection of power stems from its dependency on the military-industrial complex.

  • 2013 Spring Program
    Ms. Sandra Grimes, long-time CIA insider, spoke about the decade-long investigation that led to the exposure of her co-worker, Aldrich Ames, as a Soviet mole who was responsible for the torture and execution of at least ten Soviet undercover agents. Ms. Grimes and Ms. Jeanne Vertefeuille co-authored the book, "Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed."

  • 2012 Spring Program
    Author Douglas Waller spoke about his book, "Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster who created the OSS and Modern American Espionage." Mr. Waller’s fascinating presentation focused on Donovan, the man who became the nation's top spy under the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt during World War II. Waller is a veteran correspondent, author, and lecturer. As a journalist he has covered the Pentagon, Congress, the State Department, the White House, and the CIA.

  • 2012 Summer Program
    The NCMF welcomed the Ohio State University Drama Department's Theatrical Exhibition Team which performed "The Camouflage Project," a performance based on the mission of four female British agents who operated behind German lines in France during World War II. Through exhibition stations and a performance of mime and dance the audience learned how the agents used camouflage and code systems training to conceal themselves and communicate with allied forces. Photo here is from The Camouflage Project.