Director of the National Security Agency

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Director of the National Security Agency
Flag of the U.S. National Security Agency.svg
Flag of the National Security Agency
General Paul M. Nakasone (NSA).jpg
General Paul M. Nakasone, USA
since May 4, 2018
National Security Agency
StatusChief Executive
Reports to
SeatFort Meade, Maryland
NominatorSecretary of Defense
AppointerPresident of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 201
PrecursorDirector of the Armed Forces Security Agency
First holderMG Ralph Canine, USA
DeputyDeputy Director of the National Security Agency (DDNSA)

The director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA) is the highest-ranking official of the National Security Agency, which is a defense agency within the U.S. Department of Defense. The director of the NSA also concurrently serves as the Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) and as the commander of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). As the director of the NSA and the chief of the CSC, the officeholder reports to the under secretary of defense for intelligence, and as the commander of U.S. Cyber Command, the officeholder reports directly to the secretary of defense.

According to 10 U.S.C. § 201 of the United States Code, the director of the NSA is recommended by the secretary of defense and nominated for appointment by the president. The nominee must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate. In accordance with Department of Defense Directive 5100.20, dated 23 December 1971, the director of the NSA must always be a commissioned officer of the military services. As the assignment is currently part of a tri-hatted position, the director of the NSA is appointed to the grade of a four-star general or admiral during the period of his incumbency. The director's deputy is always a technically experienced civilian.[1]

AFSA directors[edit]

The Armed Forces Security Agency was the predecessor to the National Security Agency and existed from 1949 to 1952.

# Director Portrait Service Term President(s) served under
1 RADM Earl E. Stone Earl E. Stone.jpg USN 1949–1951 Harry S. Truman
2 MG Ralph Canine Ralph Canine, official military portrait.jpg USA 1951–1952

NSA directors[edit]

# Director Portrait Service Term President(s) served under
1 Lt Gen Ralph Canine Ralph Canine, official military portrait.jpg USA 1952–1956 Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
2 Lt Gen John Samford Samford John Alexander 2.jpg USAF 1956–1960 Dwight D. Eisenhower
3 VADM Laurence Frost Portrait of Laurence H. Frost.jpg USN 1960–1962 Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
4 Lt Gen Gordon Blake Gordon Blake, official military photo.jpg USAF 1962–1965 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
5 LTG Marshall Carter Marshall S. Carter.jpg USA 1965–1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
6 VADM Noel Gayler Noel Gayler.jpg USN 1969–1972 Richard Nixon
7 Lt Gen Samuel C. Phillips General Samuel C Phillips USAF.jpeg USAF 1972–1973 Richard Nixon
8 Lt Gen Lew Allen General Lew Allen, official military photo.jpg USAF 1973–1977 Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
9 VADM Bobby Ray Inman Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, official CIA photo, 1983.JPEG USN 1977–1981 Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
10 Lt Gen Lincoln Faurer Lincoln Faurer.jpg USAF 1981–1985 Ronald Reagan
11 LTG William Odom William Odom.jpg USA 1985–1988 Ronald Reagan
12 VADM William Studeman Vice Admiral William Studeman (NSA), 1988.jpg USN 1988–1992 Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
13 VADM John M. McConnell Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, NSA.jpg USN 1992–1996 George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
14 Lt Gen Kenneth A. Minihan Kenneth Minihan, official military photo.jpg USAF 1996–1999 Bill Clinton
15 Lt Gen Michael Hayden Michael V. Hayden as NSA director.jpg USAF 21 March 1999– 21 April 2005 Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
16 LTG/GEN Keith B. Alexander[2] General Keith B. Alexander in service uniform.jpg USA 1 August 2005 – 28 March 2014 George W. Bush
Barack Obama
17 ADM Michael S. Rogers Admiral Michael S. Rogers, USN.jpg USN 2 April 2014 – 4 May 2018 Barack Obama
Donald Trump
18 GEN Paul M. Nakasone General Paul M. Nakasone (NSA).jpg USA 4 May 2018 – present Donald Trump
Joe Biden


  1. ^ "About NSA". National Security Agency. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  2. ^ Originally a lieutenant general when he first assumed office on 1 August 2005. Alexander was promoted to general when he assumed the additional assignment as Commander, U.S. Cyber Command on 21 May 2010.

External links[edit]