Ambassador (ret.) Robert S. Ford

Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute and Former Ambassador to Syria (2011-2014) and Algeria (2006-2008)

War in Syria: End in Sight?

About the Speaker

Ambassador Robert S. Ford is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. where he analyzes and writes about developments in the Levant and North Africa. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014 during the buildup of the civil war. Amb. Ford was responsible for leading the State Department’s response by proposing and implementing policy and by developing strategies in collaboration with U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East.  

Amb. Ford served in a number of diplomatic hot spots.  From 2006 to 2008, he was the U.S. Ambassador to Algeria, where he focused on bilateral education and the rule of law; and from 2008 to 2010, he was deputy U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.  Earlier posts include deputy chief of mission in Bahrain from 2001 to 2004, and political counselor to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006 during the tumultuous establishment of the new Iraqi government.

In 2014, Amb. Ford received the Secretary’s Service Award, which is the U.S. State Department’s highest honor.  In 2012, the John F. Kennedy Foundation honored him with its annual Profile in Courage Award for his vigorous defense of human rights in Syria. He has provided expert commentary on CNN, PBS, Fox, MSNBC, NPR, the BBC, and Arabic news networks as well as in The New York Times and Foreign Policy.