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Lindsey W. Ford

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia


Lindsey W. Ford is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia. In this role, she serves as the principal advisor to senior leadership within the Department of Defense for all policy matters pertaining to development and implementation of defense strategies and plans for the region. Her area of responsibility includes bilateral security relations with India and all other South Asian countries, excepting Afghanistan and Pakistan; and with the nations of Southeast Asia.

Previously, Ms. Ford was a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where her research focused on U.S. security alliances and Asian regional architecture. Prior to joining the Brookings Institution in 2019, Ms. Ford was the Richard Holbrooke Fellow and Director for Political-Security Affairs at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) from 2015-2019. From 2009-15, Ford served in a variety of roles within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, including as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for the US-ASEAN Defense Forum, where she oversaw the first ministerial for ASEAN defense ministers hosted in the United States. Ms. Ford also served as the Senior Adviser to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, where she managed Asian maritime security affairs and led the development of the Department’s first “Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy” in 2015. She has also served as an adjunct lecturer at George Washington University’s Elliott School of Public Affairs.

A graduate of Samford University, Ms. Ford holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs and Asian Studies from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. She is the recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.