College News

Former CIA Officer Heads New UA Initiative

From the September 2014 edition of Desktop News | Reginald D. Hyde, a UA alumnus and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security in the U.S. Department of Defense, has been named executive director of UA’s new Cyber Institute, a collaborative effort between UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, Culverhouse College of Commerce, and other groups.

Hyde, who retired from government last year, will head the new institute, which will facilitate interdisciplinary research and educational programs related to cyber security and cyber-related technologies.

“I’m excited about the potential we have to integrate our cyber-related capabilities on campus toward new curriculum and research that will position the University well for the future,” Hyde said. “Cyber security problems, as well as the promise that many cyber-related technologies have to create solutions in a variety of fields, will be with us as long as we use digital technologies.”

At the Department of Defense, Hyde was the civilian equivalent of a three-star general. He was responsible for a vast portfolio that included oversight and policy guidance for core areas of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise (the uniformed service components and agencies that make up Military Intelligence.)

Hyde’s tenure at the Department of Defense concluded a three-decade career as a CIA operations officer. He served in four overseas assignments, including two as chief of station, the senior agency official in a country. His experience includes a number of senior positions that focused on integrating operations and technology.

Hyde was promoted to the Senior Intelligence Service in 2002, where he served in a number of senior operations, management and leadership positions. While at the Department of Defense, he worked with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to help integrate and build strategic intelligence capabilities to enhance U.S. military operations at a time when the U.S. was engaged in the War on Terrorism as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition to numerous other awards for specific achievements, Hyde was awarded the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal from CIA Director John Brennan in December 2013 and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service in March 2013.

Hyde earned both his bachelor’s degree in economics and his law degree from UA. He also earned a master’s degree in public policy/international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Diplomacy.

“Taking a comprehensive approach to cyber research and education is a priority for The University of Alabama, and we are very pleased to have an individual of Reg Hyde’s caliber to lead these efforts,” said Dr. Joe Benson, UA interim provost, in announcing Hyde’s appointment.

“Reg’s experience with the challenges of cyber security and related technologies will be extremely valuable as we build our programs in this area.”

The Cyber Institute is officially partnered with the Center for Advanced Public Safety of the College of Engineering, UA’s Office of Information Technology and UA’s Chief Information Officer, currently John McGowan.