Dr. John H. O'Hara

Dr. John H. O'Hara

CEO, O'Hara Consulting

1952-1956 Enlisted man in USAF

  • Flew as flight qualified radar and bomb-navigation system technician on B-47 aircraft in SAC 


  • BSEE University of Arizona. Also received commission as an officer in the USAF


  • MSEE University of Pennsylvania. Also worked as a design engineer in the Defense Electronics section of RCA in Camden, NJ during this period of time


  • Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering. Catholic University of America. 
  • Also worked for NSA in the Telemetry and Space area during this period of time.

In 1966 he was the engineer who decoded and printed out the pictures from the Soviet Union LUNA 9 satellite, the first man made object to make a soft landing on the moon.

1969- 2001 Worked for NSA in several capacities as:

  • Design engineer for special purpose systems 
  • Chief of a major satellite program
  • Special Assistant for Electronic Warfare
  • Chief of all world wide ELINT programs
  • Chief of NSA Advanced Research
  • Assistant Director for Education & Training
  • NSA Deputy Chief Scientist

2001-2009 SETA consultant to NSA
2009-2011 Employed as Standby Active Reservist at the NSA

  • Served on JIEDDO Directed Energy Review Group
  • Worked on IED neutralization programs

2011-Present Consultant to the NSA Center for Cryptologic History
2002-- 2004 Chair of the AOC Senior Advisory Board

  • Graduated from the National War College 
  • Graduated from the Federal Executive Institute
  • Awarded a US patent
  • Received NSA invention Award
  • Recipient of two NSA Meritorious Civilian Service Awards
  • Recipient of NSA Director's Distinguished Service Medal
  • Recipient of the AOC Gold Medal Award
  • Recipient of the AOC Silver Award
  • Selected into the AOC Technology Hall of Fame
  • Two time recipient of the AOC Chesapeake Bay Roost Crow of the Year award
  • Selected into the Elizabeth-Forward High School Hall of Fame
  • Served on several Senior Level Department of Defense study teams/committees
  • Thesis advisor to Naval Postgraduate School Students
  • Professorial lecturer in Statistical Communications Theory at George Washington University

John has been a long time leader in the fight for smokefree indoor air. He founded and has served as the President of the Maryland Group Against Smoker's Pollution (MDGASP) for the last 43 years. MDGASP is dedicated to obtaining smokefree air laws at the local, state, national and international levels. He is an expert on the harmful ingredients found in tobacco smoke and has had articles published in National Health Journals. He is frequently a featured speaker at local, national and international tobacco control conferences.

He has received the American Cancer Society's (ACS) National Lifesaver Award and the ACS Ted Marrs award. The latter is the highest national award given by the ACS for advocacy.

He loves to fish and is an avid long distance runner who has run nine marathons (including twice running the Boston and New York marathons). He and his wife Merrily were ice skaters who used to compete in local figure skating competitions and ice skating shows.

He loves baseball. In 2005, at the age of 71, he attended the week long Pittsburgh Pirates fantasy camp in Bradenton, Florida where he competed against people as young as 30 years of age. The highlight of the camp was the final day when the campers played against a team composed entirely of former major league players.

He has been married to Merrily for the last 60 years. He has two sons, a daughter, two grandsons and two granddaughters. 

Speaking: November 28 - "High Energy Warfighting Applications"