U.S. Ambassador to Iraq: Who Is Stuart Jones?

Monday, June 23, 2014

On May 8, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Stuart E. Jones, a career Foreign Service officer, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Iraq. It will be the second ambassadorial posting for Jones, who is currently the envoy to Jordan.


Jones is from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, and has a family tradition of diplomacy; his grandfather also served in the Foreign Service. Jones earned a B.A. in history from Duke University in 1982 and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. After law school, Jones traveled in Latin America and subsequently decided to make a career in the State Department.


His first overseas assignment, in 1988, was as a consular officer in the U.S. embassy in Bogotá, Colombia. Other early assignments included a posting to El Salvador as legal advisor and as Serbian desk officer in Washington.


In 1994, Jones was named special assistant to then-United Nations Ambassador Madeleine Albright, remaining in that post two years. Jones then went to Turkey, serving for three years as the consul in Adana, and then two years as political counselor in the embassy in Ankara.


Jones then got his first experience in Iraq, as governorate (regional) coordinator in Al Anbar province. Later in 2004, Jones served in the George W. Bush White House as country director for Iraq on the National Security Staff. Jones went abroad again in 2005 as deputy chief of mission in the U.S. embassy in Cairo. He returned to Washington in 2008 as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. There, he was responsible for the Balkans and for European Union affairs. Jones was took over as the U.S. envoy to Amman in July 2011.


In light of the sectarian violence in Iraq, Jones said during his June 11 confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that his first priority as ambassador in Baghdad will be to protect the U.S. embassy and its employees.

Jones is married with three children, one of whom is attending Duke. His wife, Barbara, also a Penn graduate, was formerly a Foreign Service officer.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

The Ambassador of Conflict (by Walter Campbell, Penn Law Journal)



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