Ambassador Robert Ford provided an update on the Syrian Civil War, including current critical policy choices and possible outcomes. Ford discussed the roles of the various players, from Syrian President Bashar al- Assad and ISIS, to the U.S, Russia, Iran and Turkey, calling on his experience and his deep expertise in Arab politics and diplomacy. This event was hosted by Robert Pietrzak and Maureen White.
Robert Ford is a distinguished career diplomat who left the U.S. department of State after thirty years of service in April 2014. His accomplishments were recognized with the Distinguished Service award, the State Department’s highest award, a Presidential Honor award in 2012 for his stewardship of the American Embassy in Damascus during a crisis period, and the Profile in Courage award in 2012 from the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston for human rights work. Ford served as the U.S. Ambassador to Syria (20121-2014), to Algeria (2006-2008) and also served as Deputy Ambassador of Iraq and Bahrain. Other foreign posts included in Egypt, Turkey, and Cameroon. He served in Morocco at the beginning of his career as a Peace Corp Volunteer. He is now a scholar at the Middle East Institute where he writes and speaks about Iraq, Syria and North Africa. He is also a fellow at Yale University Jackson institute where he teaches Arab politics and diplomacy.