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Jonathan Addleton

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Preceded by  Mark C. Minton
Name  Jonathan Addleton

Jonathan Addleton

Books  Some Far and Distant Place

Succeeded by  Piper Anne Wind Campbell

American corner dushanbe special guest ambassador jonathan addleton

Jonathan S. Addleton (born 1957) is an American author and diplomat. He served as the 8th U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia from 2009 to 2012.


Addleton was born in Pakistan, the son of Baptist missionaries from rural Georgia. He spent his early years with his parents in Upper Sind then attended the Murree Christian School, located at an old British Himalayan hill station near the tiny crossroads town of Jhika Gali in the Murree hills of Rawalpindi District, Punjab province.

He went on to attend college at Northwestern University, where he received his bachelor’s in journalism. He later earned his MA and PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. As an undergraduate he was an intern and then a reporter at The Macon Telegraph. He worked briefly at the World Bank and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, before joining the Foreign Service in 1984. His first assignments were as USAID Program Officer in Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Yemen. Addleton retired from the Foreign Service on January 20, 2017.

From 2001-2004 Addleton was USAID mission director in Mongolia. He then headed USAID missions in Cambodia (2004-2006), Pakistan (2006-2007), Central Asia (Kazakhstan) (2013-2015) and India (2015–2017). He also was seconded to the Department of State to serve as Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) to southern Afghanistan based in Kandahar (2012-2013). Addleton was Counselor for International Development at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium (2007-2009), when President Barack Obama nominated him to be ambassador to Mongolia.

On April 6, 2013 Addleton was part of a group targeted by a suicide bomber as they walked to a local school to deliver textbooks in the Afghan city of Qalat. A suicide bomber's car exploded just outside the walls of the Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul killing Foreign Service Officer Anne Smedinghoff, three U.S. service members and an Afghan interpreter. An Army report of the incident later noted that [Addleton] “may have been the main target, although insurgents were perhaps targeting anyone partaking in the mission." Addleton later wrote "Not a day goes by when I don’t relive what happened on that cloudless morning, recalling every moment as it unfolded, reliving endlessly what might have been. I wish a dust storm had blown up out of nowhere, causing all flights to be canceled. I wish the outcome had been different. I wish I had been killed instead. But I somehow did survive, alone among the living."

His publishing credits include a memoir of his childhood in Pakistan, Some Far and Distant Place (University of Georgia Press, 1997), Undermining the Centre: The Gulf Migration and Pakistan (Oxford University Press, 1992), Mongolia and the United States: A Diplomatic History (Hong Kong University Press, 2013) and "The Dust of Kandahar: A Diplomat Among Warriors in Afghanistan" (Naval Institute Press, 2016). He has also contributed articles to Asian Survey, Asian Affairs, International Migration, Muslim World, Mongolica, Foreign Service Journal' and The Washington Post, among other publications.

Addleton's awards include the Christian A. Herter Award for intellectual courage and constructive dissent from the American Foreign Service Association; ISAF Service Medal from NATO; Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the US Department of Army; Administrator's Distinguished Career Service Award, Distinguished Honor Award, Superior Honor Award and Presidential Meritorious Service Award from USAID; and the Polar Star, Mongolia's highest civilian award, from the President of Mongolia. Early in his career, he was invited to serve as a Breadloaf Fellow at MIddlebury College's annual Summer Writer's Conference near Middlebury, Vermont. In May 2017, Addleton was one of six alumni inducted into Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism "Hall of Achievement," a group that included Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize winning editor Bruce Dold and Edith Chapin, Executive Editor of NPR News.

He speaks Urdu and Hindi and has studied French, Russian, Arabic and Mongolian.

Ambassador verma in conversation with jonathan addleton usaid


Jonathan Addleton Wikipedia