Ambassador Robert Ford

Syrian Civil War: End in Sight?
Ambassador Robert Ford
Wednesday, November 8th, 6:15pm-7:45pm

Ambassador Ford will brief us on the Syrian Civil War, as it is now and possible outcomes, including the role 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.

Ambassador Robert Ford, Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria
Syrian Civil War: End in Sight?
Tanya Wright, star of ‘Orange is the New Black’ with a special announcement
Hosted by Robert Pietrzak, Partner, Sidley Austin
Co-hosted by Maureen White, Senior Fellow Foreign Policy Institute, former Sr Advisor , US Department of State

Wednesday, November 8th, 6:15pm-7:45pm, Reception/Remarks
Doors open 6:15pm; Program begins 6:30pm
Sidley Austin, 787 Seventh Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets
$10 for Members ​and their guests | ​$30 Non-Members​

Private Dinner following at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, $200*
Members Only for Executive Members & Above with limited availability for member sponsors.
*Includes reception & conversation

About Ambassador Robert Ford

Robert Ford finished a thirty year career with the U.S. Department of State in April 2014. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Syria 2011-2014, receiving the Profile in Courage award in 2012 from the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston for his human rights work and a Presidential Honor award in 2012 for his stewardship of the American Embassy in Damascus during a crisis period. Ford was the U.S. Ambassador in Algeria 2006-2008 and also served five years in Iraq helping the Iraqis establish their permanent government through three rounds of elections.

He was presented with the Distinguished Service award, the State Department’s highest award, by Secretary of State John Kerry in March 2014.  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 about Arab politics and diplomacy.



More About Ambassador Robert Ford

“The Syrian civil war has entered a new phase. President Bashar al-Assad’s government has consolidated its grip on the western half of the country, and in the east, U.S.-backed forces are advancing on the remnants of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). So far, these two campaigns have remained largely separate. But that is changing: Assad, with Iranian and Russian help, is starting to project more power into eastern Syria. As ISIS’ remaining territory shrinks, Syrian and U.S.-backed forces are converging on the same cities. Before long, Washington will have to decide whether, when, and how to withdraw.” – Ambassador Robert Ford, Op-Ed, November-December 2017 Issue, Foreign Affairs MORE

“Ford spoke candidly about what he believed were serious errors made by Washington at the beginning of the crisis in Syria, in 2011. He recalled being deeply opposed to Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to publicly call for Assad’s removal from power during a period of mass demonstrations against the Syrian government. He said he knew that U.S. approval for the political opposition would encourage certain elements to take up arms against the government, expecting the U.S. military to stage an Iraq-style intervention to aid them—which he did not believe the U.S. would carry out.” – Tom O’Connor, Newsweek MORE