Jacob Walles

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Jacob Walles
Jacob Walles photo.jpg
United States Ambassador to Tunisia
In office
July 24, 2012 – September 2, 2015
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Gordon Gray
Succeeded by Daniel Rubinstein
United States Consul General in Jerusalem
In office
July 20, 2005 – September 6, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by David Pearce
Succeeded by Daniel Rubinstein
Personal details
Born 1957 (age 59–60)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Alma mater Wesleyan University
Johns Hopkins University

Jacob Walles, also known as Jake, was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia from July 24, 2012 to September 2, 2015. He is a retired career diplomat who spent much of his career addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict. He also served as Senior Advisor on Foreign Fighters in the Bureau of Counterterrorism in the Department of State from September 2015 to January 2017. He is currently a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. [1]

On December 14, 2011, President Obama nominated Walles to be U.S. Ambassador to the Tunisian Republic.[2] Walles was sworn in as Ambassador to Tunisia by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on June 21, 2012, and he presented his credentials to Tunisian President Marzouki on July 24, 2012. He was the Ambassador in Tunis when the U.S. Embassy was attacked on September 14, 2012, in the wake of the Innocence of Muslims controversy. President Beji Caid Essebsi decorated Walles as "Grand Officier de l'Ordre de la République" in August 2015 in recognition of his work to promote relations between the United States and Tunisia.

From 2009 to 2010, he was the Cyrus Vance fellow for diplomatic studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. From June 2010 to April 2012, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs.

Walles was U.S. consul general and chief of mission in Jerusalem from July 2005 to August 2009.[3] In that capacity, Walles was instructed to inform Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that the Hamas government was unacceptable. Walles's talking points said, "If you act along these lines, we'll support you both materially and politically".[4]

Walles also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Athens from 2003-2005, as Deputy Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem from 1996-1998, as Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv from 1988-1991, and as Vice Consul in Amsterdam from 1982-1984.[3]

He was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Walles is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University.


  1. ^ "Jake Walles, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia". U.S. Mission to Tunisia. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts", White House Press Release. Jacob Walles – Ambassador to the Tunisian Republic, Department of State. 14 Dec. 2011. Retrieved 14 Dec. 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Jacob Walles biography (October 2009)" (PDF). Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Paul McGeough, Kill Khalid: Mossad’s Failed Hit…and the Rise of Hamas (Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2009), p. 356.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
David Pearce
United States Consul General in Jerusalem
Succeeded by
Daniel Rubinstein
Preceded by
Gordon Gray
United States Ambassador to Tunisia