Carl W. Ford, Jr. served for over 40 years in a variety of military, intelligence, policy, and academic positions starting first as a private in the U.S. Army.
Along the way he obtained a BA in Asian Studies and a MA in East Asian Studies from Florida State University.
A graduate of the Infantry Officers Candidate School, he served his first tour of duty in Vietnam with MACV in 1965-‐1966.
Later after a branch transfer to Military Intelligence, he returned to Vietnam as an Area Intelligence Officer with the 525th MI Group in the Central Highlands from 1970 – 1971.
On his return to the U.S., he was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as a China Ground Forces analyst.
He resigned his Regular Army commission in 1974 to join the Office of Strategic Research at the CIA as a China Military Capabilities Analyst.
In 1978 he was selected as a CIA Congressional Foreign Affairs Fellow and spent the year in the office of Senator John Glenn as a legislative assistant for arms control and foreign policy.
The next year he left CIA to become the Professional Staff member responsible for East Asia on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He returned to CIA as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia in 1985.
In 1989 Mr. Ford was sent to the Department of Defense on loan from CIA to serve as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs and concurrently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific. He became the acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, ISA, in August 1991 and served in that capacity until December 1991, when he assumed the concurrent duties of DASD for the Near East and South Asia Affairs while retaining his Principal Deputy portfolio until February 1993.
Mr. Ford retired from CIA in May 1993 to establish his own international strategic consulting firm, Ford and Associates, in Washington, D.C.
In May 2001 Mr. Ford returned to government service having been appointed by the President as the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research. He retired from the Department of State in October 2003.
After leaving INR, Mr. Ford served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he taught a graduate seminar in Executive Branch Decision Making from 2005 to 2009.
He also taught at George Mason University where he developed a seminar on National Intelligence from 2007-–2009.