He was educated at the Cambridgeshire High School for Boys and was a senior history scholar at St John's College, Cambridge. Tebbit joined the Ministry of Defence in 1969 and in 1972 became assistant private secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence. At the Ministry of Defence Tebbit was concerned with defence plans and policy for Britain's nuclear forces. Tebbit served as the first secretary to the United Kingdom's delegation to NATO, in Brussels between 1979-82. A second posting abroad saw Tebbit join the Foreign Office's East European and Soviet Department, and serve as the head of chancery at the British Embassy in Turkey. From 1987-88 Tebbit was the director of cabinet to the then Secretary General of NATO, Lord Carrington and served as the politico-military counsellor at the British Embassy, Washington from 1988-91.
Upon his return to the United Kingdom in 1992 Tebbit served in a variety of roles at the Foreign Office, including as the head of the economic relations department, director of resources and the chief inspector responsible for finance and organisational planning.
He is a governor of the conference-organising Ditchley Foundation, based at Chipping Norton. He is also Visiting Professor at The Policy Institute at King's College London.  He is also a non-executive director of private intelligence company the Smiths Group.
- "TEBBIT, Sir Kevin Reginald (1946 - )", Debrett's People of Today, 2004
- Press Association (20 August 2003). "Profile: Sir Kevin Tebbit". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- Smith's Group
- "The Ditchley Foundation: The Governors". Archived from the original on 2006-09-26.
- "King's College London - Tebbit, Sir Kevin". www.kcl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- "Resources - Influence - Person - 567 - Kevin Tebbit". CAAT. 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
- "The US 'assumed' UK participation in Iraq, inquiry told". BBC News. BBC. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- "Gordon Brown denies 'guillotining' UK defence budget". BBC News. BBC. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
Sir Richard Mottram
| Permanent Under Secretary of the Ministry of Defence
1998 – 2005
Sir William (Bill) Jeffrey
Sir David Omand
| Director of GCHQ
January – July 1998
Sir Francis Richards
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