John Tidd served with the Central Intelligence Agency for most of his professional career. He joined the Agency in 1975 after earning a BA in international affairs from Occidental College and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Tidd has spent most of his career in the Directorate of Intelligence—the CIA's analytic wing—first as an analyst following Soviet economic issues, then as a manager directing the analysis of international trade and energy developments. During this period Dr. Tidd earned an MA in economics from the University of Virginia and his PhD from Johns Hopkins SAIS. After serving as chief of the Agency's international energy division during the Persian Gulf War, Dr. Tidd directed the analytic group of the DCI Crime and Narcotics Center (CNC) in the mid-1990s. Beginning in the late 1990s, he served as chief of staff for the Directorate of Intelligence, then in several executive positions in the Agency's Directorate of Science and Technology. Dr. Tidd returned to CNC as its deputy director in early 2002, and during part of his tenure served as acting director.
In Fall 2004, Dr. Tidd came to the University of Arizona as part of the CIA's Officer in Residence Program, and he has continued to lecture since his retirement in 2006. As an adjunct at the School of Government and Public Policy, he teaches courses on US intelligence history, the current US intelligence system, and the use of covert action as a security policy tool. He also teaches several courses on globalization and both graduate and undergraduate courses on US public policy and bureaucracy. Dr. Tidd's research interests include the history of the US intelligence system, globalization and international intelligence sharing, and the emergence of "public intelligence" and its implications for US national security decision making.