Lord joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1965 as a cadet midshipman, and over his 36-year career rose to become the fleet commander of the Australian Navy, retiring with the rank of Rear Admiral. He served in Vietnam, commanded two major warships and directed naval operations to support East Timor in 1999–2000, and was made a Member of Order of Australia in 1999 for his service.
Since retiring from the navy, he has worked as an advisor to senior government and has acted as a mentor for CEOs and executives. He has also provided corporate governance to the commercial sector, maritime industry and in international relations. Lord has held directorships of P&O Maritime Services, Australian Maritime Systems and Singapore-based Austen Maritime Services. He is presently Chairman of DMS Maritime Services, and is a member of the Victorian Government’s Defence Council and other Government advisory bodies. He is a former Chief Executive and Director of the Marine Board of Victoria and a member of the Australian Maritime Group and the National Plan Committee for maritime emergency responses around Australia.
Lord is Chairman of the Victorian Veterans Council and a Trustee of the Defence Bank Foundation.