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Carl W. Ford Jr. (born 1943), is an American political scientist, consultant, defense administrator, and Asian specialist originally from Hot Springs, Arkansas. As Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, he was head of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in the United States State Department from 2001 until 2003, reporting directly to the Secretary of State, Colin Powell.


Ford holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies and a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies from Florida State University at Tallahassee. He is a Republican.

From 1965 to 1989, Ford served two tours of duty in Vietnam, was a United States Army Military Intelligence officer, a United States Defense Intelligence Agency China Strategic Intelligence Officer, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) China military analyst, a professional staff member for East Asia on the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the United States National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the CIA.

Beginning in early 1989, Carl Ford spent four years working at the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary levels in the United States Defense Department. In 1993, Ford headed up Ford and Associates, his own international consulting firm in Washington, D.C. to provide strategic and tactical advice to American companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon doing business with the militaries of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Ford joined the United States Department of State, where he was United States Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) on the appointment of President George W. Bush in May 2001. He was also directly involved in crafting policy related to the war on terrorism, the Iraq war and reconstruction, and issues regarding the Chinese military, nuclear proliferation, the Middle East peace process, and the North Korean military threat. Carl Ford joined Cassidy & Associates in the fall of 2003, specializing in international policy and defense issues, with a particular focus on East Asia and the Middle East. He held the position of Executive Vice President until retiring in February 2006. He now serves as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where he leads a seminar on Executive Branch Decision-Making, and teaches a graduate course on Intelligence Theory and Practice at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.


  • Ford stated on CNN's documentary Dead Wrong: Inside an Intelligence Meltdown (2005) that the United States' intelligence departments "threw everything they had" into Colin Powell's speech talking about the prospects of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which led to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
  • Carl Ford called John R. Bolton "Kiss-Up, Kick-Down Sort of Guy" on Democracy Now! April 13, 2005.

See also

  • CIA leak grand jury investigation
  • Plame Affair

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
J. Stapleton Roy
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
June 1, 2001 – October 3, 2003
Succeeded by
Thomas Fingar

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