David Shedd


David R. Shedd, a veteran U.S. intelligence officer and former acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, specializes in national security policy as a visiting distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Shedd’s focus includes contributing to Heritage’s Index of U.S. Military Strength, one of the think tank’s flagship annual publications.

He also lends his expertise to formulating policy on intelligence and national security issues as part of Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.

“David’s distinguished career in the intelligence community and experience leading America’s primary military espionage organization brings a unique and important perspective to today’s policy debates,” James Jay Carafano, Heritage’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, said in announcing Shedd’s arrival in March 2015.

Shedd held top intelligence positions in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

He served as the Defense Intelligence Agency’s acting director beginning in 2014, leading a workforce of more than 16,500 military and civilian employees worldwide.

Before that, Shedd was DIA’s deputy director for four years. He also held top positions at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Council.

He served from 2007 to 2010 as the ODNI’s deputy for policy, plans, and requirements, heading the review of Executive Order 12333, the foundational U.S. intelligence policy. He also served as the NSC’s special assistant to the president and senior director for intelligence programs and reform.

Shedd had direct involvement in implementing intelligence reforms stemming from the 9/11 Commission’s report in July 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission’s report to the president in March 2005.

He held a variety of senior management assignments at the CIA, including chief of congressional liaison.

His overseas postings included the U.S. embassies in Costa Rica and Mexico from 1984 to 1993.

Shedd holds a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

In his free time, Shedd enjoys running, biking, and swimming. 

Shedd was born in Bolivia and grew up in Chile and Uruguay. He currently resides with his wife of 35 years in Vienna, Virginia.  They have two sons, one of whom is married with a young son of his own.  

Read Full Bio