The Humanitas Visiting Professorships in Intelligence Studies is a unique initiative at the University of Oxford dedicated to the study of intelligence agencies, espionage and surveillance. Of pressing relevance for today’s world, the issues examined by this initiative cross disciplines, borders and sectors.

The Visiting Professorship in Intelligence Studies has been made possible by the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the Recanati-Kaplan Foundation and is hosted by All Souls College, Oxford.

John McLaughlin 2014-2015

John Edward McLaughlin is the former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence and former Acting Director of Central Intelligence.

John McLaughlin’s CIA career lasted more than 30 years starting in 1972 with a focus on European, Russian, and Eurasian issues in the Directorate of Intelligence.

He led the review of counterterrorism “lessons learned” at the request of the Director of National Intelligence. Then in 2010, on behalf of the Obama Administration, he led a small group of national security experts to investigate the 2009 bombing attempt aboard Flight 253, and the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, and to make proposals to remedy potential weaknesses in US intelligence systems.

He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a course on American Intelligence, involving issues related to American defence policy, counterterrorism, and intelligence.

Michael Hayden 2013-2014

Michael Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of both the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Michael Hayden’s Humanitas Visiting Professorship addressed the controversial issues of privacy and security.

In his opening lecture, My Government, My Security and Me, Hayden discussed the relationship between intelligence-gatherers and the internet, the approaches to collecting information from big data, the legal framework within which this is done, both in the United States and in the EU, and the fallout from the Edward Snowden affair.

Hayden’s second lecture, Terrorism and Islam’s Civil War: Whither the Threat?, drew a distinction between what Hayden called the ‘close fight’ and the ‘deep fight’.  Initially, American policy was to tackle terrorists directly, but increasingly since 9/11 it has been to address the longer term underpinnings of international terrorism.  For Hayden, the success which the United States has encountered in the first has not necessarily been matched by its progress in the second.

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