James Franklin Jeffrey

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Jim Jeffrey
James F Jeffrey.jpg
Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Assumed office
January 4, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byBrett McGurk
United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement
Assumed office
August 17, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byPosition established
United States Ambassador to Iraq
In office
August 18, 2010 – June 1, 2012
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byChristopher R. Hill
Succeeded byRobert S. Beecroft
United States Ambassador to Turkey
In office
December 3, 2008 – July 31, 2010
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byRoss Wilson
Succeeded byFrancis J. Ricciardone Jr.
Deputy National Security Advisor
In office
August 1, 2007 – December 3, 2008
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byJack Dyer Crouch II
Succeeded byTom Donilon
United States Ambassador to Albania
In office
October 22, 2002 – May 2, 2004
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byJoseph Limprecht
Succeeded byMarcie Berman Ries
Personal details
Born (1946-02-08) February 8, 1946 (age 74)
Saugus, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma materNortheastern University (BA)
Boston University (MBA)

James Franklin Jeffrey (born February 8, 1946) is an American diplomat who serves as the United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement and the Special Envoy to the International military intervention against ISIL.[1][2]

He has held senior assignments in Washington, D.C., and abroad, including as United States Ambassador to Iraq (2010–2012); United States Ambassador to Turkey (2008–2010); Deputy National Security Advisor (2007–2008); and United States Ambassador to Albania (2002–2004). In 2010 Jeffrey was appointed to the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service, Career Ambassador. From 1969 to 1976, Jeffrey was a U.S. Army infantry officer, with service in Germany and Vietnam.

Jeffrey is a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a member of the CIA External Advisory Board, a member of the American Council on Germany, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the advisory board for America Abroad Media.[3] He is a frequent commentator on broader foreign policy, national security, and economic trends.

Early life and education[edit]

Jeffrey was born in Saugus, Massachusetts, in 1946. He received a BA in History from Northeastern University in 1969, and an MBA from Boston University Graduate School of Management in 1977. Jeffrey also holds a diploma in the French language from the University of Paris.[4] He speaks German, Turkish, and French along with English.


European security affairs[edit]

Jeffrey joined the US Foreign Service in 1977. After a training assignment in Tunis, Tunisia he was posted to Sofia, Bulgaria, where he served as the on-site U.S. representative during a hijacking of a Turkish Air Flight with five U.S. businessmen taken as hostages, in May 1981. Jeffrey then served on assignments in Adana and Ankara, Turkey as a political-military officer, from 1983 to 1987.

Jeffrey served in Munich, Germany, during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany from 1989 to 1991, including as acting principal officer during the first Gulf War, and liaison to Radio Free Europe. He then was selected as the State Department's coordinator for the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (now OSCE). Jeffrey later served as the Deputy Presidential Special Advisor for Bosnia Implementation, working to put into place the Dayton Accords.

Middle East affairs[edit]

Jeffrey during the MSC 2019

In 1996 Jeffrey was selected as Deputy Chief of Mission to the American Embassy Kuwait, and served during Operation Desert Fox and the evacuation of Embassy Kuwait. In 1999 he returned to Turkey, as Deputy Chief of Mission. After serving as Ambassador to Albania from 2002 to 2004, he was selected by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Ambassador John Negroponte to bridge the transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and subsequently served as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2004 to 2005. He served as Chargé d'Affaires in Baghdad before returning to Washington to serve as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Special Advisor for Iraq from 2006 to 2007. Jeffrey then served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, covering broader Middle East policy matters, including co-chairing the Interagency Iran Policy Group.

President George W. Bush nominated Jeffrey as Ambassador to Turkey in 2008, where he served in his fourth and final assignment to Turkey until 2010. President Barack Obama nominated him to serve as Ambassador to Iraq in 2010. Jeffrey oversaw its expansion into the largest Embassy in the world with almost 16,000 employees and an annual budget of over $6 billion, and worked with the U.S. military to ensure a successful transition to a civilian lead. According to Voice of America, after this successful transition, Iraq is now increasingly coming under the control of Iran.[5][6] Along with being the U.S. ambassador for Syrian engagement during the Syrian Civil War, he also assumed the role of Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on 4 January 2019.[7] Since he assumed the post he often visited Turkey to discuss the events relating to the Syrian Civil War,[8][9][10] and also supported the presence of Turkish forces Idlib.[11]

Deputy National Security Adviser[edit]

In the summer of 2007, Jeffrey was selected to serve on detail to the White House as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for President George W. Bush, serving as acting National Security Adviser on Bush's 2007 and 2008 trips to the Pacific nations.


Jeffrey at a panel discussion on Turkey, the Kurds, and the Middle East at Hudson Institute 2015

Jeffrey has received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award on two occasions, in 2010 and 2012, as well as the Secretary of State's Career Service Award in 2012, and the Distinguished Honor Award in 2005. Secretary Leon Panetta presented him with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service in 2011, and CIA Director David Petraeus awarded Jeffrey the Director's Medal in 2012. He received Boston University's School of Management Award for Distinguished Service in 2006, and the American Bar Association's Award for Promoting Rule of Law Worldwide in 2004. His military awards include the Bronze Star.

Personal life[edit]

Jeffrey is married with two children and is a resident of Virginia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Former US ambassador to Ankara appointed as Trump's special Syria envoy". Daily Sabah. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  2. ^ Ambassador James Jeffrey Assumes Role of Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ http://www.nndb.com/people/077/000128690/
  5. ^ https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/voa-news-iran/pro-iran-shiite-militias-iraq-expanding-despite-iraqi-leaders-efforts
  6. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/world/middleeast/iran-iraq-iranian-power.html
  7. ^ Ambassador James Jeffrey Assumes Role of Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
  8. ^ "Special Representative Ambassador Jeffrey Travels to Switzerland and Turkey". United States Department of State. 21 August 2020. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  9. ^ "Ambassador James F. Jeffrey's Interview with NTV". U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey. 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  10. ^ AA, Daily Sabah with (2020-08-27). "US special envoy Jeffrey arrives in Turkey for Syria talks". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  11. ^ "Top US officials visit Syria's Idlib and pledge aid as Turkey downs another jet". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  • The information of this article comes from the U.S. Department of State website [1].

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Joseph Limprecht
United States Ambassador to Albania
Succeeded by
Marcie Berman Ries
Preceded by
Ross Wilson
United States Ambassador to Turkey
Succeeded by
Francis J. Ricciardone Jr.
Preceded by
Christopher R. Hill
United States Ambassador to Iraq
Succeeded by
Robert S. Beecroft
New office Special Representative for Syria Engagement
Preceded by
Brett McGurk
Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Dyer Crouch II
Deputy National Security Advisor
Succeeded by
Tom Donilon