David Shedd

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Person.png David Shedd  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
David Shedd.jpg
Alma materGeorgetown University, Geneva College
Member ofFoundation for Defense of Democracies
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the war in Syria. In 2022 co-wrote an article outlying a strategy for "Waging Psychological War Against Russia."

Employment.png Acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

In office
7 August 2014 - January, 2015
Preceded byMichael Flynn
Succeeded byVincent R. Stewart

David R. Shedd is a retired U.S. intelligence officer whose final post was as the acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.[1] He is a former Central Intelligence Agency operative. In 2022, he co-wrote an article outlying a strategy for "Waging Psychological War Against Russia."

Education and early career

Shedd holds a B.A. degree from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and a M.A. degree from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Latin American studies. From 1984 to 1993, Shedd was posted overseas in the U.S. embassies in Costa Rica and Mexico.[2] Shedd has held a variety of senior management assignments including Chief of Congressional Liaison at the Central Intelligence Agency.[2]

Executive career

Shedd worked from May 2007 to August 2010 as the Deputy Director of National Intelligence (DNI) for Policy, Plans, and Requirements,[3] where he oversaw the formulation and implementation of major Intelligence Community (IC) policies from information sharing and IC authorities to analytic standards, among others.[4] In particular, he led the review of Executive Order 12333, the foundational U.S. intelligence policy, which was revised by President George W. Bush in July 2008.[4] Shedd also developed and implemented a National Intelligence Strategy,[3] published in August 2009 for the IC and led strategic planning efforts to determine intelligence priorities for the IC and the nation.[4]

From May 2005 to April 2007, Shedd was Chief of Staff and, later, Acting Director of the Intelligence Staff to the Director of National Intelligence.[5] Before the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Shedd held intelligence policy positions at the National Security Council (NSC) from February 2001 to May 2005.[4]

He worked most recently as the NSC’s Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs and Reform. Shedd helped implement intelligence reform stemming from the 9/11 Commission report in July 2004,[5] the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Commission’s report to the President in March 2005.[4]

Shedd was named Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 2010.[3] In this capacity, he assisted the Director’s management of more than 16,500 employees worldwide.[4]

Waging Psychological War Against Russia

In September 2022, Shedd co-wrote an article with Ivana Stradner, an fellow advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Stating that a psychological war against Russia is "a key opportunity"for the US. The paper suggests a targeting multiple audiences at once, and "rather than rejecting nationalist tendencies, such an effort would play on many Russians’ desire to regain their country’s lost glory." At the same time it should aim for a Balkanization, where "U.S. information operations should exploit resentment among Russia’s ethnic minorities".[6]

The authors sketch out a strategy where a "more effective approach would be to underscore just how Putin has degraded Russia’s 'greatness' at home and abroad with his bloody war in Ukraine....Instead of pitching the benefits of Levi’s and Hollywood,U.S. information operations should use Russian nationalism to turn the tables on the Kremlin — highlighting the war’s damage to Russia, exposing government corruption and inequities inside Russia"....A more effective method to reach Putin’s heartland is to work within their own community. A critical aspect in Russian culture is trust. When dissident opinions come from sources that Russians deem trustworthy, they let down their guard. The United States therefore should seek to quietly form partnerships with Russian-speaking social media influencers to help them spread messages inside Russia".[6]