Education and Training - NSA/CSS Style

Deborah Frincke

Deborah Frincke
National Security Agency

Thursday, April 17, 2014
NSF Stafford I, Room 110


Education and Training within the National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a complex, global, mission-driven effort, incorporating essentially every aspect of learning that an employee might require. Whether civilian or military, encompassing a short tour or multiple decades of a career, either highly specific to a particular job role or intended to educate in very broad creative disciplines, all are affected.

There are numerous aspects to the task: delivery, standards, outreach, and workforce readiness. The first is accomplished through providing and managing learning activities through the global National Cryptologic School (NCS), with over twenty locations worldwide, supporting nearly two dozen different skill communities, including Language and Computer Science. The second is accomplished by leveraging the authority of the Training Director for NSA/CSS by establishing and assessing effectiveness of standards for Cryptologic training with the services through each of the Cryptologic Training System Schoolhouses. Outreach is achieved in many ways, including the NSA/CSS role in StarTalk, GenCyber, the Centers of Academic Excellence, and the Center for Cryptologic History. Finally, there is the job of ensuring that learning activities are properly establishing workforce readiness to achieve ongoing and emerging NSA/CSS missions.

The talk will highlight aspects of all four areas, illustrating them with activities such as the newly established NSA/CSS Cyber College within NCS, as well as other examples of the unique challenges and opportunities that arise while providing mission-driven lifelong learning for a highly technical, diverse, and geographically dispersed workforce.


As the NSA/CSS Associate Director for Education and Training, Dr. Deborah Frincke leads the National Cryptologic School (NCS) titled as the NCS Commandant, and manages a worldwide multiservice military and civilian, corporate-level learning organization to deliver education, training and career development to members of the NSA/CSS workforce. She is dual-hatted as the NSA/CSS Training Director, governing the Cryptologic Training Council and providing executive steering of four joint service schools and 20 satellite campuses across a global enterprise. These roles are housed in the Associate Directorate for Education and Training. Dr. Frincke began at NSA 2011 as Deputy Director for Research, leading numerous projects having high agency impact, including establishing the Research strategic plan, organizing the distinguished Research postdoc program (awarded by DNI as a top human capitol activity) and founding the first ever classified cybersecurity peer reviewed journal.

Dr. Frincke worked from 2004-2011 at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as Chief Scientist for CyberSecurity, leading PNNL’s internal research investment in cyber security. Prior to joining PNNL, Dr. Frincke was a Full Professor at the University of Idaho, and co-founder/co-director of the U Idaho Center for Secure and Dependable Systems, one of the first seven institutions to receive NSA's designation of a national Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

Dr. Frincke earned her bachelor's degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of California, Davis, and her master's and doctorate degrees in computer science from University of California, Davis.

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