Skip to main content

Kim Leslie Kotlar

Adjunct Associate Professor in the Engineering Graduate and Professional Programs
Engineering Graduate and Professional Programs
110 Science Drive, Box 90271, Durham, NC 27708


Kim Kotlar brings more than 40 years of national security experience, including diverse executive leadership positions within the U.S. Congress, National Security Agency (NSA), Intelligence Community, Department of Defense (DoD), and other federal agencies. She is currently a strategic consultant to the North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Kim spends her free time mentoring Duke graduate and undergraduate students and coaching the Duke Cyber Club. 

Kim recently retired as an NSA executive, where she managed several operational organizations and led the initiative to create the agency’s Civil Liberties and Privacy Office.  Prior to NSA,  Kim held a range of national security-related leadership positions on Capitol Hill, including:  Senior staff member for Congressman Mac Thornberry; and Senior Staff Director, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology Subcommittee of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. She was also a staff member for the House of Representatives’ panel investigating state and federal responses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Six months before 9-11, working closely with Congressman Thornberry, she authored and led House staff activities leading to the enactment of legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. In 2005 the National Journal recognized her as one of the “Hill 100” Top Congressional Staff members, citing her substantive contributions across the breadth of national security issues. 

Kim enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1977 and subsequently obtained a commission as a Cryptologic Officer. Kim capped her 20-year naval service as a senior staff officer for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence and later on the staff of the Director, NSA. In these positions she developed, coordinated, and guided implementation of plans and policies which directly impacted national cyber operations planning and execution.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the New York Board of Regents and a Master of Science degree in Management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Adjunct Associate Professor in the Engineering Graduate and Professional Programs · 2022 - Present Engineering Graduate and Professional Programs, Pratt School of Engineering

Education, Training & Certifications

Naval Postgraduate School · 1992 M.S.
University of the State of New York · 1982 B.A.