By Julian Pecquet - 02/05/14 09:47 AM EST
Ford was recalled from Syria in 2011 after receiving death threats following his meetings with opposition figures. Since then he has been the Obama administration's key point of contact with the moderate opposition, helping to organize the first face-to-face peace talks between the regime of Bashar Assad and the opposition last month.
Ford's departure comes just as the architect of President Obama's troubled “reset” with Russia, Michael McFaul, has also announced his retirement.
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