Joe Kirschbaum is a Director in the Defense Capabilities and Management Team of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). He assists congressional committees by overseeing evaluations of Department of Defense programs in the Homeland Defense and Emerging Threats and Capabilities portfolio. In 2013 Mr. Kirschbaum served as an acting director in GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice Team, overseeing evaluations of federal emergency preparedness and homeland security programs.
Over his 21-year career with GAO, Mr. Kirschbaum conducted and led audits throughout the range of defense and national security programs, focusing mostly on the Department of Defense. Among the topics he has covered are intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; homeland defense; military cyberspace doctrine and operations; counterproliferation of weapons of mass destruction; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive preparedness and consequence management; military base closures; academic and professional standards for the service academies; Army and Navy force structure; and development of the Navy’s littoral combat ship.
Mr. Kirschbaum comes from a Navy family and upon graduating High School served briefly on active duty in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program. Mr. Kirschbaum has a Bachelors degree in History and Political Science, a Masters degree in National Security Studies—both from California State University, San Bernardino—and a Ph.D in military history from George Washington University.