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Thomas Rid

Thomas Rid

Director of the Alperovitch Institute for Cybersecurity Studies

Professor of Strategic Studies


Thomas Rid is Professor of Strategic Studies and founding director of the Alperovitch Institute for Cybersecurity Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. From April to July 2022 he also is a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress.

Rid is the author of the acclaimed Active Measures, a sweeping history of disinformation (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020). His previous book, Rise of the Machines, (Norton, 2016), tells the story of how cybernetics, a late-1940s theory of machines, came to incite anarchy and war. His 2015 article “Attributing Cyber Attacks” was designed to explain, guide, and improve the identification of network breaches (Journal of Strategic Studies 2015). In 2013 he published Cyber War Will Not Take Place, now a classic.

Rid’s commentary has appeared in The New York Times and the Washington Post, and he has testified in front of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as well as in the German Bundestag and the UK Parliament. His books are widely translated.

From 2011 to 2016, Rid was a professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Between 2003 and 2010, he worked in policy institutes in Berlin, Paris, Jerusalem, and Washington, DC. Rid holds a PhD from Humboldt University in Berlin.

Thomas lives in Georgetown with his wife Annette and two sons.


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.

Rid, T. (2021). Active Measures. Picador Paper.




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

In the News

Don’t Hype the Disinformation Threat

Foreign Affairs, May, 5, 2024

How Russian Trolls Helped Keep the Women’s March Out of Lock Step

Thomas Rid quoted in The New York Times, 09/18

What a fake 2016 BLM rally tells us about Russian disinformation.

Professor of Strategic Studies Thomas Rid interviewed on CNN, 11/04

Open letter in support of free inquiry and discussion.

Olga Oliker, Bruce Parrott, Thomas Rid, and Matthew Rojansky cited in War on the Rocks, 05/12

Russia's secret services betray their weakness.

Thomas Rid cited in Deutsche Welle, 05/03

Disinformation and active measures.

Thomas Rid participated in Yale Cyber Leadership webinar, 04/29