Dr. Christopher Ford is a MITRE Fellow and founding Director of the Center for Strategic Competition at the MITRE Corporation — one of only 12 Fellows in the corporation’s nearly 70-year history, and the first with a policy-centric background. He is also a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
From January 2018 until January 2021, following his unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Dr. Ford served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, and also exercised the authorities of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security from October 2019 until his resignation from the Department of State on January 8, 2021.
Before his service at the State Department, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation at the U.S. National Security Council, where he ran the directorate of that name throughout 2017. A veteran of many years as a congressional staffer, Dr. Ford has served at various points on the staffs of the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, Banking Committee, Appropriations Committee, Select Committee on Intelligence, Permanent Select Committee on Investigations, and Governmental Affairs Committee. He also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance in 2003-06, and as U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation in 2006-08.
A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard who got his doctorate at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a law degree from Yale, Dr. Ford has also worked as a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., and served from 1994 until 2011 as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, which he left with an Honorable Discharge in 2011 at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Dr. Ford is the author of three books – China Looks at the West: Identity, Global Ambitions, and the Future of Sino-American Relations (2015),The Mind of Empire: China’s History and Modern Foreign Relations (2010), and The Admirals’ Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War (2005) – as well as a great many articles and monographs. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio – as well as a sometime martial artist who studied in the Jigo Tenshin-Ryu lineage of Japanese jujutsu under the late Grandmaster Dong Jin Kim, and a lay chaplain in the Soto tradition of Zen Buddhism who was given jukai by by Roshi Joan Halifax at the Upaya Institute and Zen Center – Dr. Ford lives with his wife and daughter (and their multiple pugs) in Bethesda, Maryland. His personal website may be found at https://www.newparadigmsforum.com.
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