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Thomas Rid

Professor of Strategic Studies


Rid brings to Johns Hopkins more than a decade of experience in international security and intelligence studies, previously serving as a Professor of Security Studies in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, where he developed a Cyber Security module that bridged the gap between technological and political debates.

Rid has recently shared his expertise on information security through testimony before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as insights on intelligence with the German Bundestag and the UK Parliament.

Rid closely tracked the election interference in 2016, and was one of the first named sources to call out the hack-and-leak as a Russian intelligence operation, only one day after details became public.

He has held positions at the RAND Corporation in Washington, the Institut Français des Relations Internationales in Paris, and served as a visiting scholar at Hebrew University and Shalem Center in Jerusalem. From 2007 to 2008, Rid served as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS. He holds a PhD and MA in Social Science from Humboldt University in Berlin. 


Rid, T. (2016). Rise of the machines: A cybernetic history. New York: W. W. Norton et Company.

Rid, T. (2013). Cyber war will not take place. Oxford: Oxford University Press.




  • Computer Network Operations
  • Cybersecurity
  • Disinformation
  • Encryption Policy
  • History of Technology
  • Information Security
  • Intelligence History
  • Strategic and Security Issues
  • International Relations

In the News

Google scrubs coronavirus misinformation on search, YouTube.

Thomas Rid quoted in BNN Bloomberg, 3/10

Report: Russian social accounts sow election discord - again.

Thomas Rid quoted in Associated Press, 3/5

War by other means.

Thomas Rid cited in The American Scholar, 3/2

Spies often use businesses as cover.

Thomas Rid cited in The Economist, 2/22

Cybersecurity is a government game.

Thomas Rid cited in Axios, 2/13

The staggering vulnerability of global elites.

Thomas Rid quoted in The Atlantic, 1/30

Investigators: Saudis hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' phone.

Thomas Rid cited in BankInfoSecurity, 1/22

As trial nears, Trump keeps discredited Ukraine theory alive.

Thomas Rid quoted in Associated Press, 1/12

What damage could Iran do with a cyber attack?

Thomas Rid cited in Sky News, 1/6

What’s behind the GOP’s disinformation machine?

Thomas Rid cited in Washington Monthly, 12/13

What senators ignore when they threaten encryption.

Thomas Rid cited in Fortune, 12/11

The Fact Checker’s guide to impeachment hearing spin.

Thomas Rid cited in The Washington Post, 11/12

When cyberwar struck its first civilian target.

Thomas Rid cited in Nature, 11/12

President Trump’s alternate reality on Ukraine.

Professor of Strategic Studies Thomas Rid cited in The Washington Post, 10/29

GOP representatives push conspiracy theories defending Trump.

Thomas Rid quoted in Mother Jones, 10/23

Why Trump asked Ukraine’s president about ‘Crowdstrike’.

Thomas Rid quoted in Associated Press, 10/17

Trump, the conspiracy theory president.

Thomas Rid cited in The Hill, 10/14

No, encryption is not about to be ‘Backdoored’.

Thomas Rid cited in Fortune, 10/1

Why Trump asked Ukraine’s president about ‘CrowdStrike’.

Thomas Rid quoted in Associated Press, 9/27

Will there be a cyber war?

Thomas Rid cited in Daily Times, 9/8

Hack, dump, divide.

Thomas Rid interviewed on Lawfare The Report podcast, 7/26

Attorney General Barr fires up the encryption debate.

Thomas Rid cited in The Washington Post The Cybersecurity 202, 7/24

U.S. hackers penetrate Russia's electric grid.

Thomas Rid cited in Cyber Security Intelligence, 7/1

Troll watch: City infrastructures targeted with stolen NSA hacking tools.

Thomas Rid interviewed on NPR All Things Considered, 5/26

In Baltimore and beyond, a stolen NSA tool wreaks havoc.

Thomas Rid quoted in The New York Times, 5/25

After Mueller revelations, how to protect election integrity in 2020.

Thomas Rid interviewed on PBS NewsHour, 4/24

Mueller report props up reporting, Sanders’s ‘slip of the tongue,’ and more.

Thomas Rid cited in Columbia Journalism Review, 4/18

The U.S. pledges a harder line in cyberspace — and drops some hints.

Thomas Rid interviewed on NPR Morning Edition, 3/26

Our elections are still vulnerable to Russian interference.

Thomas Rid cited in The Washington Post, 3/6

Before elections, U.S. cut Russian trolls' internet access.

Thomas Rid cited in Healthcare Info Security, 2/27

House Democrats, Republicans cross swords over election security bill today.

Thomas Rid quoted in Politico Morning Security, 2/13