Ferry de Kerckhove was born in Belgium in 1947. 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.
He joined the Canadian Foreign Service in September 1973. From 1981 to 1985, he was Economic Counsellor at the Canadian Delegation to NATO. In September 1992, he was posted to Moscow as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission. In 1995 he became Associate Chief Air Negotiator, then Deputy Head of the Policy Branch and Director-General, Federal-Provincial Relations in Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He was named High Commissioner to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in August 1998. In September 2001, he became Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia. He was also accredited to Timor Leste.
In September 2003 he joined the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa as a Canadian Center for Management Development Diplomat in Residence. In 2004 he became Director General, International Organizations. In July 2006, he added to his responsibilities the function of Personal representative of the Prime Minister for La Francophonie. In 2008 he was named ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt.
He retired from the Foreign Service on September 23d, 2011. He is an Advisor to the President of the University of Ottawa for Security, Women and Peace as well as a Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, and a former Member of the Board of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. He was the author or co-author of four iterations of the Conference of Defence Association Institute’s Strategic Outlook for Canada 2013-16. He is a former board member of WIND Mobile Canada. Advisor to the Canada Arab Institute and to the Canada Pakistan Business Council, he is President of Golden Advice Inc. and member of the Board of the Collège militaire royal St. Jean.