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 Spring and Summer programs typically take place in March and June and, as noted above, feature a particular topic and guest speaker.
The third quarterly program, held in October, is also the General Membership Meeting & Annual Symposium. Every other year, the October program coincides with the NSA-CCH's two-day Symposium on Cryptologic History, thus creating a THREE DAYS OF CRYPTOLOGY. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next CCH Symposium on Cryptologic History has been moved to Spring 2022. For a recap and photos from past NCMF October programs, please see the "Previous Programs" section of the General Membership Meeting & Annual Symposium page.
The final quarterly program (typically in December) traditionally features presentations related to intelligence or cryptologic events surrounding Pearl Harbor.
See the "Previous Programs" area below for details about previous year's topics and speakers.
Upcoming Virtual Program: 29 January 2020: American Codebreakers at Bletchley Park, 1941-1945
Iconic manor house at Bletchley Park circa 1939. The building housed the senior leadership and the trees to the right of the building were removed to build the huts where the codebreaking teams worked.
join us on Friday, 29 January at 10:00 to 11:00 am EST for our first virtual program of 2021, "American Codebreakers at Bletchley Park, 1941-1945," to be held via Zoom webinar
Dr. David Sherman will discuss a secret February 1941 U.S. visit to Britain’s wartime codebreaking center and how it set the stage for the enduring partnership that emerged after World War II, a partnership often called the closest and most important relationship in the history of intelligence. His monograph on the 1941 mission, The First Americans, is available online from the Center for Cryptologic History.
The program will be free. Please CLICK HERE to register. During the week prior to the program, you will receive an email with details about accessing the program.
If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com
About the Speaker
Dr. David Sherman retired from the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service in 2017. He served for 32 years at the National Security Agency, where he held a variety of managerial, analytic, and staff positions. He also held positions on the staffs of the National Security Council and National Economic Council and represented NSA to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was Dean of Academic Programs and Visiting Professor at the National War College from 2007 to 2010. Prior to joining the government, he was Adjunct Faculty at Cornell University where he taught for four years.
Dr. Sherman is a member of the Board of Directors of the North American Society for Intelligence History and advises the National Cryptologic Museum on its collections and exhibits. Dr. Sherman holds the following degrees:
Doctor of Philosophy, Cornell University, 1985
Diploma, Alexander S. Pushkin Institute of the Russian Language, 1983
Master of Arts, Cornell University, 1980
Bachelor of Arts, Duke University, 1977
“Ann’s War: One Woman’s Journey to the Codebreaking Victory over Japan.” Winner, 2017 Cryptologic Literature Award. National Security Agency/Center for Cryptologic History, August 2019.
“Barbara Tuchman’s The Zimmermann Telegram: Secrecy, Memory, and History.” Journal of Intelligence History, 18/2 (2020), 125-148.
“The First Americans: The 1941 US Codebreaking Mission to Bletchley Park.” National Security Agency/Center for Cryptologic History, October 2016. Winner, 2015 Cryptologic Literature Award, National Security Agency.
“Fire! How Two Infernos Remade an Adirondack Village.” To be published by Adirondack Life, January 2021.
“From Improvisation to Permanence: The Anglo-American Signals Intelligence Relationship, 1940-1950.” Journal of Intelligence History, 18/1 (2019), 63-85.
“Introducing a New Cryptologia Series: Sources and Methods for Cryptologic History.” With Betsy Rohaly Smoot and Robert J. Hanyok. Cryptologia, 44/1 (2020), 79-81.
“Marshall and the Codebreakers.” Marshall: The Magazine of the George C. Marshall Foundation. Spring 2017, pp. 14-21.
“The National Security Agency and the William F. Friedman Collection.” Cryptologia, 41/3 (2017), 195-238.
“Nicanor and Ellen: Nineteenth-Century Innkeepers in the High Peaks.” Adirondack Life, 51/5 (July/August 2020), 78-81.
“Sources and Methods for Cryptologic History: The William and Elizebeth Friedman Collections.” Cryptologia, 44/3 (2020), 267-79.
“Training the Codebreakers.” Smith Alumnae Quarterly, Summer 2019, 41.
“William Friedman and Pearl Harbor.” Intelligence and National Security, 33/3 (2018), 309-23. With commentary by Uri Bar-Joseph, Haifa University; Richard K Betts, Columbia University; Erik J. Dahl, Naval Postgraduate School; Michael S. Goodman, Kings College, London; Kenneth Lasoen, Ghent University, Belgium; and James Wirtz, Naval Postgraduate School.
Panels & Presentations
“The Codebreakers’ War: David Kahn, the Government, Macmillan, and the Making of a Cryptologic Masterpiece.” 2019 Cryptologic History Symposium. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. October 18, 2019.
“Declassification and Release of William Friedman’s Official Papers.” George C. Marshall Foundation, Lexington, Virginia. April 23, 2015. With Betsy Rohaly Smoot and Sarah Parsons.
“The Making of a Codebreaker: The Case of Ann Caracristi.” North American Society of Intelligence Historians 2019 Conference. Washington, D.C. October 21, 2019.
“The National Security Agency and the William Friedman Collection.” 2015 Cryptologic History Symposium. With Sarah Parsons and Robert Simpson. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. October 22, 2015.
HELP US PROMOTE OUR PROGRAMS: The NCMF seeks volunteers to help publicize the cryptologic programs we sponsor throughout the year. If you live in a retirement community, belong to a senior center, and/or visit other public places where events can be posted, please consider helping us spread the word. You can download event flyers from our website. We can also send flyers via post or e-mail, or make them available at the foundation office. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help. We encourage you to tell friends and family about these interesting and valuable programs.
Previous Quarterly Programs
Short summaries of some of our previous quarterly programs are provided below. CLICK on the title of each to view a recap page, if available. (Note - Visit the NCMF General Membership Meeting & Annual Symposium page for summaries of previous annual meetings.)
In a fascinating presentation to the NCMF audience in February 2020, Retired CIA "Chief of Disguise" Jonna Mendez shared stories on the secret tactics employed against the KGB during the Cold War when she and her husband Tony Mendez created James Bond-style gadgets and ingenious disguises that enabled CIA agents to outmaneuver the KGB. Ms. Mendez was a 27-year CIA Intelligence Officer including time as a Technical Operations Officer with a specialty in clandestine photography. Her duties included training the CIA's most highly placed foreign assets in the use of spy cameras and processing the intelligence they gathered. Since retiring, she has continued her career as a fine art photographer, a consultant/lecturer, and an author. Ms. Mendez coauthored, with her husband, the acclaimed books Spy Dust and The Moscow Rules. Click on the title or photo to learn more about the program and to see photos.
The 2019 Summer Program took place on 5 June and featured historians and experts on Chinese society, Mr. Greg Nedved and Dr. Laura Kaplan Murray. The theme of the program was "THE TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE OF 4 JUNE 1989 - A DAY THAT MARKED A TURNING POINT IN CHINESE HISTORY." Click on the title or image to learn more.
The 2019 Spring Cryptologic Program featured guest speaker Mr. Rick Estberg whose presentation was based upon his recently published book, Berlin Daze. Estberg's book recounts dozens of his adventures and unique experiences over a seven-year period in walled West Berlin, both as an Army NCO, as well as an NSA civilian. We had a full house for the program, which was followed by a book-signing and lunch. Click to read more about the presentation, Mr. Estberg, and his book, as well as to see a gallery of event photos.
Our 2018 Summer Program featured special guest speaker Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith with an enlightening presentation on American diplomatic and military strategy, and its clash with Saudi culture. The presentation was titled "Sex and Strategy: Why We are Adrift in the Middle East" and it prompted our longest Q&A Session on record! Learn more about her and the program by clicking on the title or image.
The NCMF's 2018 Spring Cryptologic Program featured special guest speaker Ms. Liza Mundy, best-selling author of "Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II." "Code Girls" brings to light key roles played by thousands of female codebreakers during WWII. Click on the image or title to watch a replay of the presentation, see photos from the event, and get more details.
Our 2017 Pearl Harbor Program featured guest speaker Dr. Robert W. Love, Jr. This year's focus was on the rationale for the attack, which even its architect, Admiral Yamamoto, characterized in so many words as a “death warrant.” Dr. Robert Love, a professor and historian at the U.S. Naval Academy, helped us to understand the motives and goals of the planners and whether it was “a bold stroke or senseless strategy.” Click on the title or image to learn more.
The NCMF 2017 Summer Cryptologic Program featured guest speaker Dr. David Priess, former CIA intelligence officer and author of "The President's Book of Secrets." 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. to learn more, please click on the photo or title for the event page with summary info and photos.
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
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.