President Obama today nominated Deborah Jones to be the next ambassador to Libya, a post that has been vacant since Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi.
Jones is a career diplomat having most recently served as U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait from 2008-2011.
She joined the State Department in 1982 and has also worked in U.S. embassies in the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Turkey and Ethiopia. Jones currently is a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington.
She was chosen to represent the American people "during this important stage of Libya's new democracy," White House spokesman Jay Carney said today adding that she is a career foreign service officer "who has served admirably in diplomatic posts around the world."
If confirmed, she would head the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya, amid heightened tension and tighter security following the deaths of Stevens and four other Americans who were killed while visiting the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
In a related note, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is in Washington, D.C. today for his first official meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry and with senior administration officials at the White House.
Following his meeting with Zeidan, Kerry called Jones "an experienced diplomat ... strong and capable" and thanked the Libyan government for their help following the Benghazi attacks, adding that "those who killed Americans in Benghazi will be brought to justice."