Ambassador (r) Charles A Ford is President of CAF International, LLC, a trade consultancy. He is the Treasurer of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) and a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. On the Board of: the PDI defense group; the Thomas Jefferson School of Public Policy at the College of William and Mary; the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy at George Washington University; and the Board of Governors of the DACOR Bacon House Foundation, an organization of foreign affairs professionals.
Until April 2013, Ford served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) at the Commerce Department. As the chief operating officer of the US government’s premier export promotion agency, he managed a $270 million budget and 1400 U.S. and international employees located in the United States and over 70 countries.
Previously, he served as Advisor on Public Private Partnerships to the Commander of U.S. Southern Command from 2008-2009 and Ambassador to Honduras from 2005-2008. At the Commerce Department, he served as USFCS Deputy Assistant Secretary, and as Director of Latin American Trade Policy in the International Trade Administration from 1990-1994. From 2003-2005, he was a Vice President of the American Foreign Service Association.
As a member of USFCS from 1982-2009, Ambassador Ford worked and lived in Latin America and Europe and is fluent in Spanish. He served as Commercial Minister at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium; Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela; Commercial Minister, U.S. Embassy in London, United Kingdom; Regional Director for Europe, United States and Foreign Commercial Service, Department of Commerce; Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Guatemala; Commercial Consul, U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, Spain; Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Ford worked at the Inter-American Development bank and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association.
Ambassador Ford was born in Dayton, Ohio. He obtained his B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary, and his M.A in Latin American Studies from George Washington University. His numerous honors and awards include the Department of Commerce Silver, Gold and Bronze Medals. In May, 2008, he was awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Award, and received the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2009.