Yes, you are correct. His is currently the former...
Student or Learner
I've come across structure like this in the newspapers every so often:......is/was the former (e.g. Chief Secretary). I was wondering if is or was should be used. Personally, I think 'is' is better as (1) it's still true now - describing a fact and (2) there is the adjective 'former' already indicating that person no longer holds that position. Am I right? Thanks a lot
It depends on the context. When speaking about the present "he is" is the tense that agrees. But when reporting on the past you should use "he was" regardless of whether he is still.