Farder Coram is a gyptian elder notable for his "bright flickering intelligence" (7.113). His daemon is a "beautiful autumn-colored cat (7.55). He is a figure of wisdom and guidance, and John Faa refers to him as a "seer" (7.74). He's been helping keep watch over Lyra during her time in Oxford.
Farder Coram encourages Lyra to read the alethiometer and helps her practice. The two become friends and develop a bond, which we see in Chapter 9. They visit the witch consul together in Chapter 10.
Farder Coram has a pretty interesting backstory. He was romantically involved with the witch Serafina Pekkala, with whom he had a son. Witches, though, live for quite a long time. The two split up when their son died. Serafina remained young and beautiful, while Farder Coram aged. When Lyra flies to Svalbard with Serafina in Chapter 18, she urges the witch to send a message to Farder Coram.