Robert Ford finished a 30-year career with the Peace Corps and the U.S. Department of State in April 2014 and now is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, where he writes and speaks about Syria, Iraq and North Africa. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Syria 2011-2014, receiving wide recognition for his work defending Syrians' human rights in the face of the Bashar Asad regime's repression. He received the annual 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, boosting bilateral cooperation in education and the rule of law. Ford also served five years in Iraq helping the Iraqis establish their permanent government through three rounds of elections and preparation of a new constitution. He received from Secretary of State John Kerry in March 2014 the Distinguished Service award, the State Department's highest award. Ford has appeared on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, Fox, NPR, the BBC, Arabic networks speaking in Arabic as well as in numerous print media, including The New York Times. Ford has taught at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and is a devoted fan of the Baltimore Orioles.