US Foreign Policy

A Conversation with Assistant Secretary Chris Ford

Please join Stimson Center President & CEO Brian Finlay in welcoming Christopher Ford, Assistant Secretary at the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), to a conversation at the Stimson Center on the topic of transforming foreign assistance into a global, agile, threat-prioritized, and responsive nonproliferation programming tool.

This conversation is part of a series of senior level dialogues hosted at Stimson which provide a unique, conversational setting for industry and government leaders to discuss and share their agendas, objectives, and opinions with a public audience.

WHAT: On the record conversation between Stimson Center President & CEO Brian Finlay and Christopher Ford, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, United States Department of State.

WHERE: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC, 20036

WHEN: September 25, 1:30-3:00 p.m. 

RSVP: Click here to RSVP for the event.

FOLLOW: @StimsonCenter on Twitter for event news and use #StimsonNow to join the conversation.


Christopher Ford, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, United States Department of State

Christopher Ford was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation on January 9, 2018. Before coming to ISN, Ford served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counterproliferation at the National Security Council.

Ford began his public service in 1996 as Assistant Counsel to the Intelligence Oversight Board and then served on several Congressional staffs, including the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2003, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Verification and Compliance (now the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance). In 2006, he was named U.S. Special Representative for Nuclear Non-Proliferation, where he was responsible for U.S. diplomacy with respect to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

From 2008 to 2013, Dr. Ford was a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute, a foreign affairs and national security think tank. In 2013, Ford returned to Congress where he served on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Ford also served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1994 until 2011, receiving an Honorable Discharge at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Ford earned an A.B., summa cum laude, at Harvard University, a D.Phil. at Oxford University in the United Kingdom (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a J.D. at Yale Law School.

Brian Finlay, President & CEO, Stimson Center

Brian Finlay is the President and CEO at Stimson. His areas of expertise include nonproliferation, transnational crime, counter-trafficking, supply chain security and private sector engagement. Finlay is also an Adjunct Instructor in the School of International Service at American University in Washington.

Prior to joining Stimson, Finlay served four years as executive director of a Washington-based lobbying initiative focused on counterterrorism issues, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, and a program officer at the Century Foundation. He was a project manager for the Laboratory Center for Disease Control/Health Canada and worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He Chairs the Board of Directors of iMMAP, an information management and data analytics organization focused on improving humanitarian relief and development coordination. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Black Market Watch, a Geneva-based NGO that works to raise awareness around illicit global trade. Finlay also sits on the Editorial Board of Global Security, a journal of health, science and policy published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Finlay has authored and co-authored numerous books, monographs and reports, and is widely published in academic and policy journals and magazines. He is frequently asked to provide expert analysis and commentary on transnational and development challenges to media outlets around the world.

Finlay holds an M.A. from the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, a graduate diploma from the School of Advanced International Studies, the Johns Hopkins University and an honors B.A. from the University of Western Ontario.

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