John Melvin Jones is a retired United States Ambassador. He retired at the end of 2009 after serving twenty-eight years in the U.S. Department of State. As a Foreign Service Officer, he served on assignments in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Thailand, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Iraq and Guyana. He has been a Consular Officer, Refugee Officer, Consul General, Charge d’Affaires, Deputy Chief of Mission, Team Leader and Ambassador.
Stateside assignments have included the Office of the Legal Advisor, Senior Watch Officer in the Operation Center, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs, Faculty Advisor to the Inter-American Defense College, Office of the Director for Counter-Terrorism, Office of the Inspector General, and Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization.
Jones has received several State Department Meritorious Honor and Superior Honor Awards as well as the Superior Performance Award. He was responsible for the Amerasian Repatriation Section of the Orderly Departure Program repatriating refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. As a Senior Inspector, he conducted inspections in Washington, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Afghanistan. He was the State Department’s Representative to the Foreign Terrorist Asset Targeting Group and served as Team Leader for the Provincial Reconstruction Program in Diyala Province Iraq. He was named Ambassador to The Republic of Guyana in 2008.
Prior to entering the Foreign Service, Jones had been a member of the faculty at George Mason University and Pennsylvania State University. He worked on Capitol Hill as a Hearings Officer for the Select Committee on Immigration and Refugee Policy. He was an Administrative Hearings Officer for the Pennsylvania Workman’s Compensation Board and was in private legal practice. He is fluent in Spanish and French and has limited capability in Portuguese, Vietnamese and Arabic .