Jim Judd has been a career public servant in the federal government of Canada for more than 35 years. In 1973 he joined the Department of External Affairs as a Foreign Service Officer. He served abroad in Caracas (1975-77) and Washington (1983-87) and in various assignments in Ottawa (including a secondment as secretary to an inquiry into the Canadian oil industry). In 1987 he was appointed Senior Departmental Assistant to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and in 1991 became Chief of Staff to the President of the Privy Council and Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs. The following year he was appointed as Assistant Secretary to Cabinet for Foreign and Defence Policy. In 1994 he was on assignment to the office of Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and in 1995 was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister for Corporate Affairs there.
In 1996 he was appointed G-7 Deputy for Canada and Assistant Deputy Minister for International Trade and Economic Affairs in the Department of Finance. In 1998 he was named Deputy Minister of National Defence and, subsequently, in 2002, Secretary of the Treasury Board and Comptroller General of Canada. In 2004 he was appointed Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, a position he held until his retirement in the summer of 2009. He remains active in a variety of activities related to both domestic and international public policy issues.
He was born in Montreal, and raised there, across Canada and in Europe prior to attending Carleton University in Ottawa where he obtained an Honours BA (Political Science) and MA (International Affairs).