In 2016, Ambassador Deborah K. Jones retired from the U.S. Department of State with the rank of Career Minister following 34 years of service spanning the globe; it is this experience that Jones brings to the Chautauqua Lecture Series as she considers the practical, real-world applications of friendship in the field of diplomacy and how friendships — not just between nations, but between people — can shape international relations.
Prior to her retirement, Jones — a previous contributor to the Road Scholar program — served as Deputy Commandant/International Affairs Advisor at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy of the National Defense University, 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, and was detailed to the U.S. Naval War College as Senior Faculty Advisor for National Security Affairs following her appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait from 2008 to 2011. She was Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul from 2005 to 2007; other overseas assignments include Argentina, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia (with regional responsibility for Eritrea, Djibouti and the Sudan), and the United Arab Emirates — in addition to holding several Washington assignments, as well. Honors include several Superior Honor Awards, and she was decorated by the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs with the sash of the “Order of Independence” in 2002.
Jones received a Bachelor of Science in history from Brigham Young University and is a “Distinguished Graduate” of the National War College, National Defense University, with a Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy. A member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, Jones currently chairs the board of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue and is chair of Amideast, a nonprofit engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa.