David Shedd ’81 Former Defense Intelligence Agency Director

David Shedd

"I Stepped Forward."

David Shedd '81

Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Retired

David Shedd intended to study civil engineering at Geneva College. But in his sophomore year, he felt God calling him to work with the government. “I felt very strongly led to consider going into the U.S. Foreign Services to work in the Department of State focused on national security affairs, so I changed my major to Economics and Political Science.”

Even with a calling to work in the government, David had no idea he would one day end up in several top positions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or the Intelligence Community (IC). After completing his education,
David pursued a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. “All I really aspired to do at that point was get back overseas,” he says. “Having grown up as a son of missionaries, I have a real passion for Latin America and its people.”

What started as a yearning to return overseas became another piece of David’s life calling. In 1982, David applied to work in the United States Foreign Service and was posted in the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica for four years. This position was followed by five years of Embassy work in Mexico City.

In 1997, David broadened his U.S. government career by working within the CIA in Washington, DC. Since this move, David has filled a number of senior roles in the IC to include his just-concluded position as the Acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). “A fascinating thing about every position I have held is that I have never applied to a job since my initial application in 1982,” says David. “I was always asked to accept these positions.”

One of David’s personal career highlights was working at the White House in the National Security Council from February 2001 through May 2005. “During this time I saw President Bush’s response to 9/11, as well as the invasion of Iraq,” he states. David was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence during these years. “There was a very strong group of believers in the White House during 9/11, and we had a great fellowship,” he explains.

Working in the White House is just one of the many doors opened for David to grow in his faith, as well as share the gospel with others. “The Lord has opened doors for me to work with many who need to understand why people experience pain,” he says. David has had opportunities to witness to world leaders, and members of congress and senate. “It’s about really having compassion and true love for people—love that is defined by Jesus’ beatitudes.”

- Jessica Driscoll ’14