U.S. Ambassador to Jordan: Who Is Alice Wells?
On April 10, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Alice G. Wells to be the U.S. Ambassador to Jordan, replacing Stuart Jones, who was confirmed ase ambassador to Iraq. It will be the first ambassadorial post for Wells, a career Foreign Service officer. Wells’ nomination was confirmed by the Senate on June 16.
Wells, 51, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where her father, a U.S. Army officer, was stationed. She earned a B.A. from Stanford and an M.A. jointly from UCLA and the RAND Corporation.
Wells came into the State Department as an expert on the Soviet Union. She was among the first U.S. diplomats to serve in the new republic of Tajikistan, helping to open the embassy there. Wells subsequently served as the political-military officer at the embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While there, she was lauded for an analysis on how branches of the Saudi royal family competed with one another.
In 1998, Wells was named deputy political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan, serving until 2000. She was named to a similar post at the embassy in India in 2001, returning home to a staff job as senior desk officer for Egypt affairs in 2002. She later was director of Maghreb affairs and acting director of Egypt and North African affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs until 2005.
Wells finally got to Russia in 2006, serving as minister counselor for political affairs in the U.S. embassy in Moscow.
Wells returned to the United States in 2009 and served in several high-profile staff positions. Until 2011, she was executive assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns. Wells was then named executive assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, working with her until 2012. At that time, she moved to the White House, becoming special assistant to the president for Russia and Central Asia. Since 2013, Wells has served as an assessor at the Foreign Service Board of Examiners.
Wells is married to Kurt Amend, another career Foreign Service officer who was principal deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He is now director of international business development for defense contractor Raytheon. The couple has three daughters.
Wells speaks Russian and has studied Arabic, Urdu and Hindi.
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