Ambassador Deborah Jones, former US Ambassador to Kuwait (2008-2011) and Libya (2013-2015)
March 6, 2017
As the former American envoy to Libya, Ambassador Deborah Jones visited the school's Washington, DC campus to discuss insights and perspective gained during her service in Libya and Kuwait.
Jones shared that the 2011 Arab Spring uprising built momentum for change in Libya by questioning the legitimacy of the Gaddafi government, noting that technology and social media became disruptive forces harnessed by the movement, an effective bottom-up revolution. Jones assessed that Libyan society was highly fragmented in part due to geographical and historical reasons, giving rise to Gaddafi's rule as he exploited and reinforced these challenges during his nearly 40-year reign. Today, Libya's lack of civil institutions continues to contribute to the fluid and speculative political environment, Jones said.
This engaging discussion with students, faculty, and alumni and moderated by Dean Vali Nasr, also touched on the future of Syrian conflict negotiations and Jones' experience building political consensus through outreach to civil groups.