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Joe Kirschbaum

Director, Defense Capabilities and Management

Areas of Expertise:

  • Defense issues related to unconventional threats
  • U.S. nuclear forces
  • Cyber matters
  • Intelligence issues
  • Homeland defense
  • Support to civil authorities
  • Critical infrastructure and other emerging threats capabilities

Dr. Joseph Kirschbaum is a Director in GAO's Defense Capabilities and Management team. He leads GAO's work on the Department of Defense's ability to respond to unconventional threats. As part of his portfolio, he oversees evaluations on the Department of Defense's preparations for homeland defense; plans to respond to emerging threats and irregular warfare; protection of critical infrastructure; and development and management of cyber, nuclear, and intelligence capabilities.

Over his 20-plus-year career with GAO, Dr. Kirschbaum conducted and led audits throughout the range of defense and national security programs, focusing mostly on the Defense Department.

Dr. Kirschbaum comes from a Navy family and served briefly on active duty in the U.S. Navy's nuclear propulsion program. He earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science and a master's degree in national security studies, both from California State University, San Bernardino, and a doctoral degree in military history from George Washington University.


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