Officially In: Deborah K. Jones, from MEI Scholar-in-Residence to Libya

On March 13, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Deborah K. Jones as the next Ambassador to Libya. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador Deborah K. Jones, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Scholar-in-Residence at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC.  Previously, she was Senior Faculty Advisor for National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.  From 2008 to 2011, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait.  Ambassador Jones joined the Department of State in 1982.  Her additional overseas posts include: Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey (2005-2007), Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (1998-2001), Consular Section Chief/Regional Counselor Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1992-1994), and Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria (1990-1991).  Her Washington assignments include:  Director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs and Iran (2002-2004) and Acting Public Affairs Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs (1994-1995).

Ambassador Jones received a B.A. from Brigham Young University and an M.S. from the National War College of the National Defense University.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is greeted by Deborah K. Jones, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait and Chief of the Kuwaiti Army Lt. Gen. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khaled in Kuwait City on April 1, 2010. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chad J. McNeeley/Released)


Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is greeted by Deborah K. Jones, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait in Kuwait City on April 1, 2010. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

If confirmed, Ambassador Jones would succeed the late Ambassador Stevens who served as chief of mission in Libya from June – September 2012.  Following the death of Ambassador Stevens, retired FSO Laurence Pope was sent to Tripoli in October 2012 as Chargé d’ Affaires.  Career FSO and former Director for the Office of Maghreb Affairs William Roebuck assumed office as Chargé d’ Affaires to Libya in January this year.

You may add this to your short list of tandem ambassador in the U.S. Foreign Service.  She is married to Ambassador Richard Olson, former US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and US Ambassador to Pakistan since September 2012.  They have two daughters.

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Officially In: James Knight, from Iraq to Chad

On March 13, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador James Knight as the next Ambassador to the Republic of Chad. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador James Knight, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.  From 2009 to 2012, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Benin.  His additional overseas assignments include: Team Leader of the Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq (2006-2007); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Angola (2004-2006); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Praia, Cape Verde (2001-2003); Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar (1995-1998); and Political, Economic, and Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Banjul, The Gambia (1993-1995).  In Washington, his assignments include: Director of the State Department’s Office of East African Affairs (2007-2009) and Country Officer for Ethiopia (1998-2001).  Ambassador Knight served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1973.

He received a B.A. and an M.A. from Wichita State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Ambassador James Knight(Photo via US Embassy Cotonou/FB)

Ambassador James Knight
(Photo via US Embassy Cotonou/FB)

If confirmed, Ambassador Knight (appointed Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in the later part of 2012) would succeed career diplomat Mark Boulware who was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Chad on September 29, 2010.

Ambassador Knight is an Africa hand with tours in various outposts in the African continent broken only by two postings in Baghdad and Mosul and a couple of domestic tours.  Nigerian scammers, by the way, did not know that he had left Benin last year and are still sending out their Irrevocable Release/Transfer Atm Visa Card Notice for your due funds (US$5,500,000:00) scam with Ambassador Knight’s name on it.
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