Dr. Christopher Ford is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of international relations and strategic studies at Missouri State University’s Graduate School of Defense and Strategic Studies. He is also the founder and principal of Two Ravens Policy & Strategy LLC, which furthers national security missions by providing support to the US intelligence community and the Department of Defense. Additionally, he is a distinguished fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, and a member of the Advisory Board at the Vandenberg Coalition, a nonpartisan network of foreign policy leaders. From February 2021 through January 2023, Ford served in various capacities at the MITRE Corporation, most recently as a MITRE Fellow and the founding director of MITRE’s Center for Strategic Competition. From January 2018 until January 2021, Ford served as assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation.

At the State Department, Ford was instrumental in reorienting the department to support US competitive strategy vis-à-vis China and Russia, particularly with regard to mobilizing against China’s Military-Civil Fusion strategy; reforming US national security export control policy; and revising US interpretations of Missile Technology Control Regime standards; For his final 15 months he also exercised the authorities of the under secretary for arms control and international security, approving hundreds of millions of dollars in US arms transfers, including to Taiwan. Ford also developed and implemented the United States’ groundbreaking Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament (CEND) nuclear initiative and wrote the department’s 25-part series Arms Control and International Security Papers. Under his leadership, the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation rose to be rated the top policy bureau at the US Department of State in the Partnership for Public Policy’s assessment of the “best places to work” in the federal government.

Before joining the State Department, Ford served as special assistant to the president and senior director for weapons of mass destruction and counterproliferation at the US National Security Council, where he ran the directorate of that name throughout 2017. There he led development of the US government’s responsive strategy to Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty, contributed to the drafting of the US National Security Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review, and personally ran the Trump administration’s internal “nuclear vision review” of disarmament policy.

A veteran of many years as a congressional staffer, Ford has served on the US Senate staffs of the 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¬–6, and as US special representative for nuclear nonproliferation in 2006–8.

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