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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

• Deborah K. Jones – Ambassador to Libya, Department of State
• James Knight – Ambassador to the Republic of Chad, Department of State

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key Administration post:

• Lesley Weiss – Member and Chair, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad

President Obama said, “It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this Administration to serve the American people. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Ambassador Deborah K. Jones, Nominee for Ambassador to Libya, Department of State
Ambassador Deborah K. Jones, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Scholar-in-Residence at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC.  Previously, she was Senior Faculty Advisor for National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.  From 2008 to 2011, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait.  Ambassador Jones joined the Department of State in 1982.  Her additional overseas posts include: Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey (2005-2007), Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (1998-2001), Consular Section Chief/Regional Counselor Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1992-1994), and Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria (1990-1991).  Her Washington assignments include:  Director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs and Iran (2002-2004) and Acting Public Affairs Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs (1994-1995).  Ambassador Jones received a B.A. from Brigham Young University and an M.S. from the National War College of the National Defense University.

Ambassador James Knight, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Chad, Department of State
Ambassador James Knight, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.  From 2009 to 2012, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Benin.  His additional overseas assignments include: Team Leader of the Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq (2006-2007); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Angola (2004-2006); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Praia, Cape Verde (2001-2003); Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar (1995-1998); and Political, Economic, and Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Banjul, The Gambia (1993-1995).  In Washington, his assignments include: Director of the State Department's Office of East African Affairs (2007-2009) and Country Officer for Ethiopia (1998-2001).  Ambassador Knight served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1973.  He received a B.A. and an M.A. from Wichita State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key Administration post:

Lesley Weiss, Appointee for Member and Chair, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad
Lesley Weiss is Director of Community Services and Cultural Affairs for NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia (formerly the National Conference on Soviet Jewry).  She was first appointed to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad by President Obama in April 2011, and was designated Chair in January 2013.  Previously, she served at the Washington D.C. Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League in various capacities, including as an Associate Director from 1994 to 1999 and as Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s A World of Difference Institute from 1990 to 1994.  In 2005, Ms. Weiss was Public Advisor to the U.S. Delegations to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Conference on Anti-Semitism and Intolerance in Cordoba, Spain and to the 2007 Conference on Combating Discrimination and Promoting Mutual Respect and Understanding in Bucharest, Romania.  She was an Advisory Board Member of the International Summer Program on the Holocaust at St. Mary’s College of Maryland from 1999 to 2005.  Ms. Weiss received a B.A. from American University, an M.A. from Baltimore Hebrew University, and an M.S.W. from the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland.