Deborah K. Jones
Ambassador Deborah K. Jones retired from the U.S. Department of State in November 2016 with the rank of Career Minister following 34 years of service. Her last assignment was as Deputy Commandant/International Affairs Advisor at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (formerly ICAF) of the National Defense University from October 2015 to November 2016, following her appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Libya from June 2013 until September 2015. Jones served as Scholar-in-Residence at the Middle East Institute from August 2012 to March 2013. She was detailed to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island as Senior Faculty Advisor for National Security Affairs, following her appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait from 2008 to 2011. Jones served as Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey from 2005 to 2007.
Jones’ other overseas assignments include Argentina, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia (with regional responsibility for Eritrea, Djibouti and the Sudan), and the United Arab Emirates. Washington assignments include the Secretariat’s Seventh Floor Operations Center, Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Near East and South Asian Affairs, Acting Public Affairs Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs, Jordan Desk Officer and Director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs and Iran (2002-2004). Jones studied Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute’s Field School in Tunis, Tunisia and served on the Department’s Board of Examiners. She has received multiple Department senior performance awards, including several Superior Honor Awards, and was nominated for a Presidential Honor Award in 2014. Jones was decorated by the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs with the sash of the “Order of Independence” in 2002.
Ambassador Jones received a BS in History, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University where she also pursued graduate studies in the Humanities and taught undergraduate courses at BYU’s Study Abroad program in Madrid, Spain. She is a “Distinguished Graduate” of the National War College, National Defense University, with a Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy. Her languages include Spanish, Arabic, and French. Her publications include Omi Taqoul: Pearls of Wisdom from Kuwaiti Mothers, a collection of Kuwaiti traditional sayings.
Ambassador Jones currently chairs the board of the Hollings Center for International Dialog and participates on the Atlantic Council’s ad hoc Gulf Security Advisory Board.
She is the proud mother of two remarkable young women, and the owner of a rather naughty Parsons Jack Russell terrier, who accompanied her from Kuwait to Tripoli.