Richard H. Jones took up his duties as Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency on 1 October 2008. Ambassador Jones, a former American diplomat, brings to the IEA over thirty years of diplomatic and policy experience on issues ranging from Middle East politics to trade negotiations and energy security. After a rapid rise through the ranks of the US Foreign Service, he served as the American Ambassador to four countries: Israel (2005-2008), Kuwait (2001-2004), Kazakhstan (1998-2001) and Lebanon (1996-1998). He also acted as the US Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor and Co-ordinator for Iraq Policy from February-August, 2005.
During his diplomatic career Ambassador Jones gained a wide range of policy experience in energy policy. As Ambassador in Kuwait, he held discussions with international oil companies and with the Minister of Petroleum on production-sharing proposals. In Kazakhstan, he was the key liaison between the US government and the Presidency on the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline and other critical energy issues. In an earlier diplomatic posting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he forecast, analysed and reported on changes in Saudi policy that eventually resulted in the collapse of world oil prices in 1986. In Riyadh he also reported on the development of the Saudi petrochemical industry and held talks with Iraqi officials then working to build the first Iraq pipeline in Saudi Arabia. Ambassador Jones also is well-versed in the work of international organisations. Early in his diplomatic career he served as Economic Policy Advisor at the US Mission to the OECD.
Born in 1950 near Shreveport, Louisiana, Ambassador Jones has a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics with distinction from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA, and an MS and PhD in Business/Statistics from the University of Wisconsin. In addition to his native English, his foreign languages include Arabic, French, Russian and German. He and his wife Joan have four children.