Tidwell was most recently division manager, air carrier safety assurance, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with offices in Atlanta and Miami.
He has held multiple roles at FAA over his 22-year career, including as manager for Seattle, where he worked with Alaska Airlines.
In his new role, Tidwell will oversee all safety functions, develop and execute long-term safety and security strategies and continue to advance Alaska Airlines' world-class safety culture.
He succeeds Tom Nunn who will continue to serve as vice president, safety, Alaska Airlines, until his retirement in June, capping a 10-year career with the airline.
Brad Tilden, CEO, Alaska Air Group, commented, "The safety of our guests and our people is our number one priority and Max is extremely well suited to continue to deepen our safety culture.
"He has three decades of aviation experience, including leading key functions within FAA. He also continues to serve our country as a member of Air National Guard."