Ford Rowan is an expert in crisis management and conflict resolution.

  • He has worked for 20 years on health emergencies and is helping respond to the coronavirus pandemic. He is the chairman of the National Center for Critical Incident Analysis which was formed at the National Defense University. He coauthored a report, Weathering the Storm: Leading Your Organization Through a Pandemic.
  • He is working to improve health emergency readiness. The US response to COVID-19 has been so flawed that America’s adversaries recognize how much damage a bioterror attack could cause, Rowan’s doctoral dissertation was Defending Against Bioterrorism: Lessons of the 2001 Anthrax Attack.
  • He is working to enhance ethical treatment. He is a member of the advisory board of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. He advised on how to allocate scarce hospital resources such as ventilators. He also authored a paper on Deception and Trust in Health Crises.
  • Rowan is seeking ways to improve bipartisan dialogue about injustice. He appeared on a podcast on Uncertainty, Disunity, and Injustice. He is a founding board member of the International Dialogue Initiative. Its mission is to understand the psychological barriers to peacemaking, suggest interventions and promote dialogue.
  • He is studying how African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants from South and Central America are at greater risk of catching the coronavirus and dying than white Americans. He seeks to address racial injustice through his 20 years of volunteer work in the Kairos Prison Ministry and in the Street Reentry Program in Maryland. He helped with a podcast on Racial Trauma: A Dialogue on How We Can Heal.
  • Rowan is examining educational opportunities for Pell Grants to help inmates learn in prison so they can adjust when reentering society, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety. He has taught in three universities (Northwestern, George Washington, and Southern California), and served on six boards of educational entities. He also has advised the president of the University of Maryland Global Campus, including on how to deal with COVID-19, resulting in the podcast Beyond Isolation.

Gaza and the Refugee Challenge

A presentation to the International Club of Annapolis

I am honored to speak with you about refugees.

Most of us think of refugees as other people. strangers. newcomers. aliens. others.

People who swim actress the river from Mexico to Texas. wetbacks.

I think of refugees differently. When I was very young, my grandmother taught me that I am a refugee.

My family has been in the United States for more than 100 years. So how can I be a refugee? I had relatives that fought on both sides of the Civil War.

So how can I be a refugee?

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Prepare for the Influx of Refugees

The slow pace of refugee settlement may be about to get busy here in the United States because of the carnage in Ukraine.

First, the US government has been moving slowly to admit refugees from Afghanistan, many of whom are housed at or near military bases in America. Afghan refugees have a tough time getting admitted into communities, including Annapolis. Folks from several churches have been eager to help, but the pipeline for admitting them is very slow.

The second complication is due to a separate migration: those migrants who have crossed the Southern border into Texas and Arizona and are now coming by busloads into DC and Maryland suburbs. This exodus is separate from the Afghan and Ukraine refugee arrivals. Here in Annapolis our St. Anne's refugee committee had planned to help tutor Hispanic students but COVID forced us to put off this project two years ago.

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Emergency Response

Rowan has worked for many years on health emergencies and is helping respond to the Coronavirus outbreak. In 2006 he coauthored a report on leadership in a pandemic, which is available online:

Weathering the Storm: Leading Your Organization Through a Pandemic



Rowan is the author of several published books, as well as dozens of articles, chapters and papers. He is the author of one of the first books on network security and privacy, TechnoSpies (1978) which described the computer network that became the Internet.

Other Activities

Rowan is a member of several for-profit and non-profit boards, including Legg Mason Mutual Funds Management, National Center For Critical Incident Analysis, Touchstones Discussion Project and Kairos Prison Ministry.

Contact Information

Feel free to contact me via email at ford@fordrowan.com or via phone at (301) 873-5001.