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John McLaughlin

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Intelligence Studies 2014-2015
McLaughlin Photo

John E. McLaughlin is Distinguished Practitioner in Residence in the Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. McLaughlin, a 1966 graduate of SAIS, served as Acting Director of Central Intelligence from July to September of 2004 and as the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from 2000 to 2004. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Director for Intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice Chairman for Estimates and Acting Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. 

Over the course of his career, Mr. McLaughlin has worked on nearly every part of the world and supervised clandestine operations, analysis, and scientific and technical work.  He has frequently briefed the President and the Congress, represented the intelligence community in meetings of the National Security Council, and traveled widely to strengthen U.S. relations with national security counterparts in numerous countries.

In early 2010, Mr. McLaughlin led, at the request of the Director of National Intelligence, a study of the failed terrorist attack on a Northwest Airlines flight at Christmas 2009 and developed a series of recommendations for improving intelligence collection and analysis on terrorist plans.  He recently served on the Advisory Board that assisted Norway’s Statoil in its “lessons learned” study of the January 2013 terrorist attack on its natural gas facility in southern Algeria.  

In his position at SAIS, Mr. McLaughlin teaches a graduate level course on American Intelligence, organizes conferences and seminars, and conducts research on national security issues. He continues to testify before congressional committees and to participate in public policy debates through articles in major newspapers and journals and commentary on television and radio. .

While Deputy Director for Intelligence from 1997 to 2000, he created the Senior Analytic Service, a CIA career track that enables analysts to rise to very senior rank without branching out into management.  He also founded the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, an institution dedicated to teaching the history, mission, and essential skills of the analytic profession to new CIA employees.

In addition to earning his master’s degree in international relations from SAIS/Johns Hopkins, he received a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and completed graduate work in comparative politics at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Mr. McLaughlin is a graduate of the US Army Infantry Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning and completed a US Army tour in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.

Mr. McLaughlin is the recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Community Service Award and the National Security Medal.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Chairman of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation.  He also serves on the Board of the OSS Society, CIA’s External Advisory Board, and the Aspen Homeland Security Advisory Board. He is a Board of Trustees member at  the Noblis Corporation.