John E. McLaughlin, a former senior Central Intelligence Agency official, joined the Paul Nitze Scool of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) as a senior fellow in 2006.
McLaughlin was acting director of the CIA from July to September 2004 and had served as deputy director since October 2000. Prior to that, he was deputy director for Intelligence, vice chairman for Estimates and acting chairman of the National Intelligence Council.
As a Merrill Center senior fellow, he presents seminars on intelligence and policy and participates in strategic studies courses involving intelligence analysis and regional issues. He also counsels students who wish to learn more about intelligence careers. In addition, McLaughlin is a national security consultant for CNN.
McLaughlin’s CIA career spanned more than 30 years, starting in 1972 with a focus on European, Russian and Eurasian issues in the Directorate of Intelligence. He later became director of European Analysis and director of Slavic and Eurasian Analysis. 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.
Earning his master’s degree in international relations from SAIS, McLaughlin also spent a year studying at the Bologna Center in 1965. He received a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and completed graduate work in comparative politics at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from SAIS, he served as a U.S. Army officer, completing a tour in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.