Whitfield Diffie Introduction
Bailey Whitfield 'Whit' Diffie is an American cryptographer and one of the pioneers of public-key cryptography along with Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle. Diffie and Hellman's 1976 paper New Directions in Cryptography introduced a radically new method of distributing cryptographic keys, that helped solve key distribution—a fundamental problem in cryptography. Their technique became known as Diffie–Hellman key exchange. The article stimulated the almost immediate public development of a new class of encryption algorithms, the asymmetric key algorithms.
After a long career at Sun Microsystems, where he became a Sun Fellow, Diffie served for two and a half years as Vice President for Information Security and Cryptography at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (2010–2012). He has also served as a visiting scholar (2009–2010) and affiliate (2010–2012) at the Freeman Spogli Institute's Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, where he is currently a consulting scholar.