John Faa is the leader of the gyptian people; he's officially known as the "lord of the western gyptians" (7.23). Faa is in his 70s, and his daemon is a crow. He's a symbol of leadership in the novel and has an "air of strength and authority" about him (7.22). He's often with Farder Coram, one of the gyptian elders. The two lead the expedition that will take Lyra to the North.
Lyra meets John Faa at the gyptian peoples' gathering in the fens after her escape from Mrs. Coulter's. He is the one who tells her that the gyptians have been watching over her since she arrived in Oxford (7.74). He also tells her the story of her mother and father and reveals their true identity in Chapter 7. Faa and his party of gyptians help rescue the children from Bolvangar in Chapter 17.