A career Foreign Service officer who previously served in Mongolia, Jonathan S. Addleton was born into a life of foreign travel, thanks to his religious parents. Addleton assumed his position as U.S. ambassador to Mongolia November 9, 2009.
Addleton was born (in 1957) and raised in Pakistan by his Conservative Baptist missionary parents, Hubert and Bettie, who originally hailed from rural Georgia. He attended college at Northwestern University, where he received his bachelor’s in journalism. He later earned his MA and PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
During his undergraduate studies he worked as an intern and then as a reporter at The Macon Telegraph. His interests in overseas development led him to work briefly at the World Bank and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, before joining the Foreign Service in 1984. His first assignments were as USAID Program Officer in Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Africa and Yemen.
His first stint in Mongolia occurred from 2001-2004, serving as USAID mission director. He performed the same functions in Cambodia (2004-2006) and Pakistan (2006-2007).
Addleton was serving as Counselor for International Development at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, when President Barack Obama nominated him to be ambassador to Mongolia.
In the former book, Addleton concludes, "One of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me was an ability to cross an ever-increasing number of boundaries and still not be bound by them, to travel the world and still maintain a sense of who I was and where I came from."
Addleton and his wife, Fiona, have two sons. Addleton speaks Urdu and Hindi