Timothy Ballard

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Timothy Ballard
EducationBrigham Young University
Monterey Institute of International Studies
  • CEO, author, law enforcement
Known forOperation Underground Railroad
Spouse(s)Katherine Ballard
(m. 199?)

Timothy Ballard is the founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), CEO of The Nazarene Fund [1] and the author of several books. He organizes activities on the national and international level to stop child trafficking.[2][3][4][5] Thousands of trafficking victims have been rescued by Tim Ballard and Operation Underground Railroad. They have also assisted in the arrest of over 750 traffickers.[6][7]

Ballard's work includes the development of software and internet investigations specifically to infiltrate file-share networks where traffickers exchange child pornography. Ballard has assisted in the training of many law enforcement officers in these procedures.[8] He has also testified before the United States Congress and has recommended procedures and practices for rescuing children from trafficking rings.[9] The activities of Ballard and O.U.R. have had major media coverage.[10][11][12][13][14][15]



After growing up in California, Ballard attended Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah.[16] He went on a church mission to Chile and then graduated Cum Laude from BYU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Political Science. Then, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Monterey Institute of International Studies with a Master of Arts degree in International Politics.[17]


Ballard worked as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, for over ten years.[18] During his time working for the government, he worked on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and worked as an undercover agent for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team.[18] Most of his career was spent working out of the US-Mexico port of entry in Calexico, CA with the focus on child exploitation and trafficking cases. These cases regularly took Ballard, who speaks fluent Spanish,[19] into Latin America.[20][21][22]

Founding O.U.R.[edit]

Ballard left the government in 2013 and founded the non-profit organization Operation Underground Railroad, or O.U.R.[18][23] He has briefed many world leaders on issue of child sex trafficking including President Donald Trump in January 2019.[24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

Testifying before Congress[edit]

On May 14, 2015, Ballard was asked to testify before the United States Congress. The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Human Rights held a hearing on the partnerships between U.S. government and non-governmental organizations that rescue trafficking victims.[31] On March 6, 2019, Ballard was called to testify before the US Senate Judiciary Committee concerning US-Mexico border security and its relation to child sex trafficking.[32][33]


In 2016 a documentary from Schindler's List producer Gerald Molen called The Abolitionists featured the first operations undertook by Ballard and Operation Underground Railroad.[34][35] Another documentary from director Nick Nanton called Operation Toussaint was produced in 2018 which featured an operation in Haiti that had the support of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and former congresswoman Mia Love.[36][26] A feature film about Ballard's life called The Sound of Freedom, starring Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, and Eduardo Verastigui was announced in 2018.[37][38][39]

ESPN featured Ballard and Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin in a piece which highlighted the restavek issue near the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.[40][41] Tomlin would also write the forward to Ballard's book Slave Stealers: True Accounts of Slave Rescues-Then and Now.[42][43][44]


With his background and study of American history, Ballard wrote the best-selling books,[45] "The Covenant: One Nation Under God," and its sequel, "The Covenant, Lincoln, and the War."[45] In 2018 he published the biographical book Slave Stealers: True Accounts of Slave Rescues-Then and Now, which details his experience forming a non-profit to rescue children. The book also draws a few parallels to 19th century American history and the transatlantic slave trade. The principal subject is a 19th-century abolitionist named Harriet Jacobs and her struggles to escape slavery and save her children. All publications are listed below.



  1. ^ "Home - The Nazarene Fund". The Nazarene Fund. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  2. ^ "Current and former Utah officers working to stop child sex slavery". fox13now.com. 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  3. ^ "Founder, CEO of Operation Underground Railroad to speak at UVU". DeseretNews.com. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  4. ^ "Crossfit OUR". Crossfit OUR. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  5. ^ "O.U.R. Media Kit" (PDF). TEGA Technologies.
  6. ^ "Operation Underground Railroad Has Rescued 600+ Children From Sex Slavery". Glenn Beck. Retrieved 2017-07-12.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Operation Underground Railroad". ourrescue.org. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  8. ^ "Tech startup Operation Underground Railroad is saving kids from human traffickers". VentureBeat. 2014-04-26. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  9. ^ "Hearing Sex Trafficking Victims, May 14 2015". C-SPAN.org. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  10. ^ "Finding Virtue in Hell: Glenn Headed to Bangkok With Operation Underground Railroad". Glenn Beck. Retrieved 2017-07-12.[dead link]
  11. ^ "ABC Nightline – Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) | EMSI Public Relations". emsincorporated.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  12. ^ "Going undercover to rescue child sex slaves". Fox News. 2014-11-09. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  13. ^ "Tim Ballard: Operation Underground Railroad". www.realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  14. ^ Operation Underground Railroad (2014-10-17), CBS Evening News Feature | Operation Underground Railroad, retrieved 2017-07-12
  15. ^ Thorpe, Devin. "Meet A Guy Who Has Devoted His Life To Freeing Slaves". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  16. ^ "Rescuing Children from Sex Slavery: One Mormon's Inspired Mission". LDS Living. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  17. ^ "Operation Underground Railroad". ourrescue.org. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  18. ^ a b c "Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) – a Vanguard in the Fight Against Child Trafficking - End Slavery Now". www.endslaverynow.org. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  19. ^ "Rescuing Children from Sex Slavery: One Latter-day Saint's Inspired Mission". LDS Living. 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  20. ^ Burleigh, Nina. "Inside The Fight Against Child Sex Trafficking". Maxim. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  21. ^ "PressReader.com - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  22. ^ "Ex-DHS Agent: 10,000 Children Trafficked Into US as Sex Slaves Each Year". www.theepochtimes.com. 2019-01-31. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  23. ^ Hanson, Kurt. "Operation Underground Railroad: Saves lives in ways most can't". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  24. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Border security expert: 'The wall rescued this little boy'". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  25. ^ POLITICO (2019-02-01). "President Donald Trump invited the founder of an organization that rescues adolescent trafficking victims to speak in support of a wall along the southern U.S. border. https://politi.co/2MKE89T pic.twitter.com/JB4jPOIKjP". @politico. Retrieved 2019-06-21. External link in |title= (help)
  26. ^ a b "LDS Congresswoman, Operation Underground Railroad Founder Meet with President of Haiti to Address Human Trafficking". LDS Living. 2017-06-02. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  27. ^ Aguirre, Alberto. "El amigou de doña Olga". El Economista. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  28. ^ Toone, Trent (2017-10-26). "Operation Underground Railroad's Tim Ballard meets with Ivanka Trump, politicians regarding human trafficking". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  29. ^ "Timothy Ballard: "I've Fought Sex Trafficking as a DHS Special Agent – We Need to Build the Wall for the Children"". The White House. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  30. ^ Summit, E2 (2019-06-07). ""Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. This is the most wicked thing happening on the planet today. 6M children are currently enslaved--slave labor, organ harvesting and sex trafficking." -@TimBBallard @OurRescue #E2Summit19pic.twitter.com/2n9sKKbj2D". @E2Summit. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  31. ^ "Hearing Sex Trafficking Victims, May 14 2015 | Video | C-SPAN.org". C-SPAN.org. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  32. ^ "WATCH: Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on human trafficking at U.S. southern border". PBS NewsHour. 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  33. ^ "Oversight of Customs and Border Protection's Response to the Smuggling of Persons at the Southern Border | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  34. ^ The Abolitionists, retrieved 2019-06-21
  35. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Andreeva, Nellie (2015-06-01). "'Abolitionists' Documentary Series About Rescuing Kids From Sex Slavery Shopped". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  36. ^ Operation Toussaint: Operation Underground Railroad and the Fight to End Modern Day Slavery, retrieved 2019-06-21
  37. ^ "Child Sex Trafficking Explored in New Doc 'Abolitionists' (Exclusive Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  38. ^ "Blockchain Platform TaTaTu to Co-Finance 'Sound of Freedom'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  39. ^ Sound of Freedom, retrieved 2019-06-21
  40. ^ "Mike Tomlin, Steelers partner with anti-sex-trafficking initiative". ESPN.com. 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  41. ^ ESPN (2018-09-30), Mike Tomlin joins the search to rescue trafficked children | NFL Countdown | ESPN, retrieved 2019-06-21
  42. ^ "Tomlin helping to tell a tough story". www.steelers.com. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  43. ^ "Mike Tomlin and the Steelers are doing their part to end child sex trafficking". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  44. ^ "Mike Tomlin Authors Foreward For New Book Focusing On Fight Against Human Trafficking". 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  45. ^ a b c Toone, Trent (2017-06-28). "Timothy Ballard or Tim Ballard? The Operation Underground Railroad founder and the author are one and the same". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  46. ^ "Timothy Ballard | Meridian Magazine". ldsmag.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  47. ^ "Author - Timothy Ballard - Deseret Book". deseretbook.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  48. ^ "Tim's Books". TIM BALLARD. Retrieved 2018-08-15.

External links[edit]