1954: Dorothy Blum

Computer Analytics Innovator

The Cold War era brought a new set of challenges to the Intelligence Community. This new way of waging war required innovative ways to enhance intelligence collection and analysis and Dorothy Blum was on the cutting edge. She joined the Army Cryptologic Organization at the height of WWII and continued her work after the war with both the Armed Forces Security Agency and the newly created NSA. During the 1950s, Blum championed the use of computer programming to advance cryptology. She recruited computer programmers to help her design the NSA’s computer systems and automate cryptology processes. Blum continued her work over the next two decades and, in 1972, became the Chief of the Computer Operations Organization—the only woman in the leadership chain at the time. Her foresight helped the United States stay one step ahead of its adversaries and contributed to the legacy of innovation in the IC.