Paul W. Jones

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Paul Wayne Jones
Paul Jones.jpg
United States Ambassador to Malaysia
Assumed office
September 8, 2010
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James R. Keith
Personal details
Born 1960

Paul Wayne Jones (born 1960) is an American diplomat who has served as the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia since 2010.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Jones was born and raised in Yorktown Heights, New York. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University. His post-graduate work includes a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from University of Virginia and a Masters of Science in National Security Affairs from the Naval War College.[2]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Jones joined the United States Foreign Service in 1987. For the next two years, he served as consular and political officer in Bogota, Colombia, during a period when narco-traffickers threatened the country. He returned to Washington in 1989, where he worked in the State Department’s 24 hour Operations Center during the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, U.S. military operations in Panama and coup attempts in the Philippines. Jones' next assignment was in Moscow, from 1992 to 1994. Jones returned to Washington as desk officer for the Benelux countries. After the Dayton Agreement, Jones was sent to Sarajevo beginning in January 1996 as the Executive Assistant to the Head of Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ambassador Robert Frowick. Jones was then selected by Ambassador Christopher R. Hill to be the first Deputy Chief of Mission to Macedonia, where he served from the summer of 1996 to 1999.[3]

After a year at the Naval War College, Jones served on the Secretary of State's staff as Director of the Secretariat Staff, working the transition between Secretaries Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. He then became Director of the Balkans office in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Jones graduated from the State Department’s Senior Seminar in 2004, and then was assigned as Deputy Chief of Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna until 2005.[4]

Jones' career began to focus on Asia in 2005, when he was assigned as Chargé d'Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, under Ambassador Kristie Kenney. In January 2009, Richard Holbrooke asked Jones to serve as his Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Jones worked intensively with Holbrooke on Afghanistan and Pakistan until assuming his new role as the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia in September 2010.[4]


Ambassador Jones with Secretary Hillary Clinton during her visit to Malaysia in Nov. 2010.
Ambassador Jones with Click! Camp participants.

Jones was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position of Ambassador to Malaysia on July 12, 2010. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 5, 2010, and he was sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington DC on September 8.[5] Jones arrived in Malaysia on September 13 and presented his Letter of Credence from President Obama to the King of Malaysia, Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, at the Palace on October 18, 2010.[6]

In his role as ambassador, Jones has emphasized strengthening ties between the United States and Malaysia in education and exchanges, science and technology, trade and investment, entrepreneurship, and security. During Jones' tenure, both Secretary of State Clinton[7] and United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates[8] separately made their first ever visits to Malaysia, in November 2010.

Awards and honors[edit]

Jones received the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for peace building in the southern Philippines in 2008. He is the recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Service Award and several Superior Honor Awards.[4]


Jones' mother, Evelyn Hale White Jones, was born in Mumbai, India, to British parents. His father, John Wayne Jones, was born and raised in Missouri and was a veteran of World War II in the Pacific. His great-grandfather was the physician Sir William Hale-White and his great-great-grandfather was the author William Hale White, who wrote under the pen name Mark Rutherford.[9] He is also the nephew of sailor and author Hal Roth. He has two sisters; one is a physician and the other a schoolteacher.

Jones is married to Catherine Jones, an award-winning author and freelance writer, who is the daughter of retired U.S. Ambassador Brandon Grove[10] and Marie Cheremeteff Abernethy. They have two children, Aleksandra and Hale. Jones speaks Spanish and Russian.[4]


External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
James R. Keith
United States Ambassador to Malaysia
2010 – present
Succeeded by