Ferry de Kerckhove was born in Belgium in 1947. Prior to migrating to Canada, he did his military service in the Armed Corps of Belgium where, at 18, he commanded a platoon of tanks.  He has a B.Soc. Sc. Honours in Economics, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and pursued Ph.D. Studies at Laval University in Québec City.   

After working as an intern at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ferry de Kerckhove became a Researcher at the Québec Centre for International Relations and then later headed up the International Security Section at the Canadian Institute for International Affairs (Québec section).

In September 1973, Ferry de Kerckhove entered the Canadian Foreign Service.  After a stint in European Affairs, he was posted as Third Secretary to the Canadian Embassy in Tehran.  When Ferry de Kerckhove returned to Canada in 1976, he became Assistant Secretary, Inter-Departmental Committee on External Relations then moved to East European Affairs (Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania).  From 1978 to 1981, he was responsible for Canada-France relations. From 1981 to 1985, he was Economic Counsellor at the Canadian Delegation to NATO.

Back in Canada, Ferry de Kerckhove became Deputy Director of the Political and Strategic Analysis Division, then Director of the Economic and Trade Analysis Division in the Policy Planning Bureau.  In 1989, he became Director, Economic Relations with Developing Countries Division.  In September 1992, he was posted to Moscow as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission.

Ferry de Kerckhove returned to Ottawa in September 1995 to become Associate Chief Air Negotiator.  In January 1996, he became Deputy Head of the Policy Branch and Director-General, Federal-Provincial Relations in Foreign Affairs and International Trade.  He remained in this position until being named Canada s High Commissioner to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in August 1998. He spent three years in Islamabad. On September 13, 2001, Ferry Ferry de Kerckhove presented his credentials as Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia. He was also accredited to Timor Leste.

Ferry de Kerckhove returned to Ottawa in September 2003 and joined the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa as a Canadian Center for Management Development Diplomat in Residence.

On August 9th, 2004, he returned to the Department of Foreign Affairs and became Director General, International Organizations. In July 2006, he added to his responsibilities the function of Personal representative of the Prime Minister for Francophonie.

From September 10th 2008 to September 10 2011, Ferry de Kerckhove was in Cairo as ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

He retired from the Foreign Service on September 23d, 2011.  He is a Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, where he teaches part-time, as well as at York University’s Glendon College. He is a former Executive Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute; he is author of two editions of the Institute’s Strategic Outlook for Canada 2015 and 2016 (as well as co-author of previous editions)he is a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He is an advisor to the Canada Arab Institute. He is a former board member of WIND Mobile Canada. He is President of Golden Advice Inc.

Ferry de Kerckhove has published numerous papers on international relations as well as on the relationship between the Muslim world and the West in specialized journals. He is a regular commentator on international issues on radio, television and newspapers.