Ford Rowan is an expert on how to handle a crisis. His clients have included 7 of the largest 20 companies on the Forbes 500. He has advised on the September 11th air disasters, alleged financial fraud, restatements of earnings, environmental crimes, chemical safety, mad cow disease, SUV rollovers, silicone breast implants, the aftermath of the Valdez oil spill, and five explosions at chemical plants and refineries. He has consulted on issues in ten countries, including China, Venezuela, France, and Mexico.
Rowan chairs the National Center for Critical Incident Analysis, an independent, civilian research entity affiliated with the National Defense University in Washington. He is the author of a study on lessons from the 2001 anthrax attacks and co-author of What is to be done? Emerging Perspectives on Public Responses to Bioterrorism (2002) and Crisis Prevention, Management and Communication (1991). He is co-author of Weathering the Storm (2006), a guide for preparing for a pandemic.
He is a former national security correspondent for NBC News who covered the war in Lebanon, the Watergate trials, and Three Mile Island. He was the host of the weekly PBS program, International Edition, in the mid 1980s. Rowan also practiced communications law in Washington and is the author of Broadcast Fairness, a 1984 analysis of the impact of regulation on news coverage. In 1978, he wrote TechnoSpies which described the computer network that became the Internet.
Rowan taught part-time for 13 years at the Medill School at Northwestern University, four years at the University of Southern California, and is now teaching at George Washington University in the Organizational Sciences Department. Rowan is vice chair of the board of the Santa Fe Institute.
Rowan is a graduate of Tulane University and earned his law degree at Georgetown. He is a believer in life-long education and has studied on a part-time basis for three decades. He holds masters degrees from Johns Hopkins (behavioral science), American University (political science), Syracuse (interdisciplinary social science), the Ecumenical Institute (theology), and St. Johns College (the great books program). He earned a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California.