orn in 1943 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Mr. Ford graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1960, and after two years at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, joined the U.S. Army as a Private E-1. He graduated from Infantry OCS in December 1963 and the Airborne School a month later. After a tour with 29th Infantry Battalion, 197th Infantry Brigade, Fort Benning, Georgia, Mr. Ford served in Vietnam with MACV from 1965 to 1966.
Having completed his tour in Vietnam, Mr. Ford returned to FSU graduating with a BA in Asian Studies in 1968. The following year he received an MA in East Asian Studies from FSU, and rejoined the U.S. Army as a Military Intelligence Officer. After graduating from the Area Intelligence Officer Course at Fort Holabird, Maryland, he served with the 525th MI Group in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam (1970-1971). Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as a China Strategic Intelligence Officer.
Mr. Ford resigned his Regular Army commission in 1974 to accept a position as a China military analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency. He also briefly followed developments in North Korea before being selected in 1978 as a CIA Congressional Foreign Affairs Fellow. He served in the office of Senator John Glenn as a legislative assistant for arms control and foreign policy.
In 1979, Mr. Ford left CIA to become the professional staff member responsible for East Asia on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1981 he was concurrently appointed as Senator Glenn’s Foreign Policy and Defense Issues Director. He returned to CIA as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia in 1985.
In April 1989, Mr. Ford was sent to the Department of Defense on loan from CIA to serve as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and concurrently Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and the Pacific. He served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for ISA from May 1989 until August 1989. In August 1991, Mr. Ford was again appointed Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense and served in that capacity until December 1991, when he assumed the concurrent duties of DASD for Near East and South Asian Affairs while retaining his Principal Deputy portfolio until February 1993.
Mr. Ford retired from CIA in May1993 after almost twenty-eight years of government service to establish his own international strategic consulting firm, Ford and Associates, in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ford specialized in providing strategic and tactical advice to American companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon doing business with the militaries in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
In May 2001 Mr. Ford returned to government service having been appointed by the President as the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence & Research. In this capacity he provided intelligence support and analysis to Secretary of State Colin Powell, and other senior policy makers at the Department of State. INR, with global responsibilities, made a significant contribution to the war on terrorism, the Iraq war and reconstruction, and subjects such as Chinese military developments, nuclear proliferation, the Middle East peace process, and the North Korean military threat. Mr. Ford also served as a member of the President’s National Foreign Intelligence Board. He retired from the Department of State in October 2003.
After leaving INR, Mr. Ford joined Cassidy & Associates as its Executive Vice President, and served in that capacity until February 2006 when he became a partner and Managing Director of Kanturk Partners, a merchant bank in Washington, D.C. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service where he taught a graduate seminar in Executive Branch Decision-Making. He held a similar position at George Mason University where he taught a graduate seminar in National Intelligence. Mr. Ford is currently an adjunct professor of Political Science at National Park College in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Mr. Ford is married to the former Sheila Roach of Lake Worth, Florida who is the Founder and Executive Director of Teachers Institute in Washington, D.C.