Dear NCF Members, Donors, Partners, & Friends,
I am honored to be following Dick Schaeffer as the next NCF Board Chair! Like you, I am grateful for Dick’s many years of service to the NCF - and to the National Security Agency (NSA). He has been driven by his love for the cryptologic mission and for those who have selflessly and quietly served our nation through myriad global challenges, many never known to the public. Dick has been loyal to this cause and worked hard with the NCF Board and leadership team to position the Foundation as a close partner to NSA. This transition is a fitting time for us to reflect on his many contributions. Thank you, Dick!
In Dick’s December outgoing message, he highlighted the key components of the NCF vision – Educate, Develop, Engage, and Commemorate – and the formalized agreement that aligns NSA and the NCF toward a common agenda with unity of effort. These were remarkable accomplishments, which have already been paying dividends – certainly for the cryptologic community, but perhaps more importantly for those on the “outside” who may now start to better understand it in the present, or even join it in the future.
Our cryptologic community has always been vital; that will never change. But what has and is changing is the world in which we live. It’s increasingly complex, unstable, and polarized. Liberal democracies are engaged in a growing struggle with autocracies. The power of technology and global interconnectedness is being used to threaten our security, casting shadows over the positive drivers for its creation.
Yet, challenges like these breed opportunity and innovation. That’s the NCF playground!! We have a role to play – a critical one! We are a critical extension of NSA’s reach beyond the fence line. Over the past several years, and especially since the stand-up of the Cyber Security Directorate (CSD) in 2019, NSA has established an increasingly understood and respected public persona. The NCF has started and will continue to build on that linkage to the public, with force multiplying effect. We will connect to the children of America, helping them find purpose in their education and giving them a glimpse of future career paths. We will foster the development of the future cryptologic workforce. We will work with NSA to engage industry to bring the best of America’s innovation to bear in the delivery of next generation secure technologies. And, importantly, as we stand on the shoulders of those who have preceded us, we will honor them and their impacts. We’ll showcase their accomplishments in ways that pique the interest of those who may choose to join the cryptologic ranks of the future and enhance public awareness of their miraculous accomplishments and selfless sacrifices.
I have served the cryptologic mission for my entire adult life. I’ve been exposed to the marvels of science, engineering, and analysis that have positioned the United States with the insights it has needed to push for good in the world – and secured our national security systems. While serving as NSA’s Deputy Director, I looked for ways to strengthen the NSA/NCF relationship, knowing that NSA’s mission could be better executed with a strong counterpart positioned to complement and amplify its role. Hence, I am DELIGHTED for the opportunity to intensify this partnership and the Foundation’s vital initiatives. As Dick passes the baton to me, I’m thankful for what the NCF has achieved and excited to do my part in carrying the vision forward.
With sincerity and respect,