When the Washington Post revealed her name a week-and-a-half ago, California professor Christine Blasey Ford almost immediately became the most talked about person in Washington, D.C. -- and across much of the nation.
But ahead of her testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford has remained mostly a two-dimensional figure, defined mainly by her resume and her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the claims.
As the country awaited the chance to hear from Ford herself, here's more of her background:
Child of the Beltway
Ford grew up in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, according to a profile from the Mercury News, which also reported that her parents were "Bush conservatives."
The Mercury News also reported that her "claim to fame," according to one of her friends, was when she drove diver Greg Louganis to the White House in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter invited Olympians to discuss the boycott of the Moscow Games.
Ford attended the all-girls Holton-Arms school, founded in 1901, in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. In a statement released last Sunday, Head of School Susanna A. Jones said, "In these cases, it is imperative that all voices are heard. As a school that empowers women to use their voices, we are proud of this alumna for using hers."
Once Ford's accusation became public, an open letter from Holton-Arms graduates from 1967-2018 was produced in which they declared their support for Ford.
A former classmate who has known Ford for some 40 years, Samantha Guerry, told ABC News Live's "The Briefing Room" that she's been told her friend is "strong" and "holding up as well as can be expected given the circumstances."
While acknowledging that she has not spoken with Ford since her name was revealed, Guerry described her as cheerful and easy to like, but also smart and hardworking -- "qualities that she kept as she went forward in her adult life."
Ford is a professor at Palo Alto University and teaches in a consortium with Stanford University, training graduate students. According to the Palo Alto Daily Post, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received higher degrees from Pepperdine University, USC and Stanford.
She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Research Design, and, according to the Palo Alto University website, has a teaching/research emphasis in statistics.
In a statement released last week, a spokesperson for Palo Alto University said of Ford: "She is passionate about her work, dedicated to her students, and a wonderful colleague and contributor to the field of psychology."
'Gregarious and quite a good listener'
Ford's sister-in-law, Deborah Ford Peters, who met her in 2002 shortly before Ford married Deborah's brother, Russell, said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday that Ford is "quite gregarious and quite a good listener -- and kind of the family glue."
Peters also said she was proud of her sister-in-law for coming forward, suggesting she has the sort of character that could withstand the backlash that accompanied her disclosure.
"I feel very proud of her and kind of impressed and amazed that she has the courage to come out and face whatever consequences she has to face," Peters said. "But she's a strong person. She's showing us she's capable of doing it."
Russell Ford spoke out about his wife in a Washington Post article that revealed her identity, saying that she told him of the alleged physical abuse early in their relationship and then expanded on the details a decade later.
"Christine was very conflicted about whether she should speak publicly about what Mr. Kavanaugh had done to her, as she knew it would be emotionally trying for her to relive this traumatic experience in her life and hard on her family to deal with the inevitable public reaction," Russell Ford said in an affidavit filed Wednesday with the Senate Judiciary Committee. "However, in the end she believed her civic duty required her to speak out."
"In our 16 years of marriage I have always known Christine to be a truthful person of great integrity," he said. "I am proud of her for her bravery and courage."