Meet the Ship's Sponsor
Susan Ford Bales
Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)
Susan Ford Bales is a Virginia native and now resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is the daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford and is married to Vaden Bales, an attorney with the Riggs Abney firm in Tulsa. Susan is the mother of two daughters, Tyne Berlanga and Heather Devers, two grandchildren, Joy Elizabeth Berlanga and Cruz Vance Berlanga, and three step-sons, Kevin, Matthew, and Andrew Bales.
Susan was raised in Alexandria, Virginia and attended Holton Arms School and Mount Vernon College, where she studied photojournalism. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service degree and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree. She is the author of two novels set in the White House, “Double Exposure: A First Daughter Mystery” and its sequel, “Sharp Focus.”
Susan is the Ship’s Sponsor for the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). She has served as a Trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation since 1981 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Foundation’s Programs Committee. Susan’s work with the Foundation is centered on promoting the ideals of public service, integrity, and candor that were the hallmarks of the life of our Nation’s 38th President, especially his service as a Naval Officer in World War II, as a member of Congress, and as Vice President and President.
In addition to her many charitable and public service activities, Susan serves on the Advisory Board of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health, Trustee of the President Gerald R. Ford Historical Legacy Trust, Global Ambassador for Susan G. Komen For The Cure, the Executive Board of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Foundation, Trustee of the Elizabeth B. Ford Charitable Trust, and the board of directors of the Bosque School in New Mexico.
Susan Ford Bales signs a large CVN 78 banner the day before the keel laying of Gerald R. Ford.
Susan Ford Bales speaking at the naming ceremony of Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at the Pentagon. Photo by U.S. Navy
Susan Ford Bales poses with shipfitters at the Ford Island Landing ceremony. Photo by John Whalen