Elizabeth Jones provisionally appointed charged affairs at the US Embassy in New Delhi, 6th in 21 months
The Biden administration has now named a senior US diplomat who served in NATO’s role as the US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia as the next charge d’affaires ad interim in New Delhi unless a full-time ambassador is sent to India.
Elizabeth Jones, 74, is the sixth interim US envoy in the past 21 months (since January 2021) to be a placeholder until the US Congress confirms a full-time ambassador.
During the Obama administration, Jones served as the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. In October 2021, he was appointed coordinator for Afghan resettlement efforts.
As Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia for the Department of State from 2001 to 2005, Jones designed US policies for NATO and EU countries, Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia. He oversaw 54 US ambassadors and their embassies in the early years of the Russian presidency under Vladimir Putin.
Before this, he served as the Senior Adviser for the Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy after being Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (1998–2000). Jones was Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan (1995–98) and Executive Assistant to Foreign Minister Warren Christopher (1993–94).
He also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the US Embassies in Bonn and Islamabad.
In a speech as assistant secretary in 2005, Jones said, “NATO is an organization of like-minded countries, like-minded states, made clear through this expansion,” and recently joined NATO. The tasks before countries with “nation-building”, “how to deal with minorities”, democracy and economic reforms.
In a 2002 interview at the Institute for International Studies, UC Berkeley, he spoke on US–Russia relations after 9/11 and said that the original goal of NATO was “to make Russians comfortable with NATO and with expanded NATO”. It said, “NATO is no longer an enemy of Russia, and Russia is no longer an enemy of NATO”.
Incidentally, she had served in the US Embassy in Islamabad when Zia-ul-Haq, the President of Pakistan and Arnold Raphael, the then US Ambassador to Pakistan, died in a plane crash in August 1988. Mechanical failure in the aeroplane and an accident,” she said in a 2002 interview.
On Tuesday, an official statement from a spokesperson for the US State Department said, “Ambassador Elizabeth Jones will depart for New Delhi to serve tentatively as the char d’affaires… to India, Ambassador Jones Our embassies and consulates will join interagency teams in advancing and enhancing the partnership between our governments and peoples, a partnership that Secretary Blinken has called one of the most productive in the world.
Patricia A. Lacina is the char affairs at the US Embassy in New Delhi. He assumed the charge on September 9, 2021.
After the departure of Kenneth Juster, a politically appointed US envoy to the Donald Trump administration, following the inauguration of the Biden administration on January 20, 2021, the embassy in New Delhi had a battery of interim envoys – Donald Heflin, Edgard Kagan, Daniel Bennett Smith, Atul Keshap and Patricia Lacina.
In July 2021, the Biden administration announced the nomination of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the next US ambassador to India.
But Garcetti’s nomination has yet to be confirmed by the US Senate. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley initially blocked his nomination due to allegations of unfair treatment by a senior employee. Although the bar on his nomination has been lifted, Democrats are unwilling to vote for it in the Senate because they believe he does not have enough votes. Midterm elections in the US Congress are expected to clarify how the administration will take the following steps to appoint the following US envoy.