Obama Nominates Replacement for Ambassador Stevens in Libya

Six months after the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens in the Benghazi attack, President Obama named a woman to take his place in Tripoli.

Deborah K. Jones, a career Foreign Service officer, was ambassador to Kuwait from 2008-2011.

Jones is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the National War College of the National Defense University and speaks Arabic, Spanish and French. She was principal officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey,  from 2005-2007; deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 1998-2001; consular section chief/regional counselor officer at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 1992-1994; and consular section chief at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria, from 1990-1991.

After the death of Stevens, former U.S. Ambassador to Chad Laurence Pope filled in as U.S. chargé d’ affairs to Libya. William Roebuck, former director for the Office of Maghreb Affairs, took over for Pope in January.

The State Department issued a new travel warning this week for Libya, warning particularly of the danger in Benghazi but noting that ordered departure status has been lifted from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

“As of March 10, the U.S. Embassy in Libya is no longer on ordered departure status but remains an unaccompanied post due to security concerns,” the State Department said.

Family members and non-essential personnel were ordered out of the country on Sept. 12, a day after the deadly attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Once such an evacuation status is ordered for a post, according to the State Department, the 180-day limit on the evacuation begins. As an unaccompanied post, restrictions on family members remain.

Obama also nominated former U.S. Ambassador to Benin James Knight to be the new ambassador to Chad.