James L. Jones Jr.

CSIS Trustee

General James L. Jones (USMC, ret.) has spent his life serving and protecting America and American ideals. He is sought after for his wisdom and guidance. As the former commander of U.S. European Command and as supreme allied commander, Europe, he led all military operations for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and later as national security adviser, he brought clear vision and steady leadership to America’s mission in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the country’s interests around the world. General Jones graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and was commissioned into the Marine Corps in January 1967. He served in Vietnam as rifle platoon and company commander. On returning home, he pursued a career in the Marines, attending the Amphibious Warfare School in 1973 and the National War College in 1985, as well as serving as Marine Corps liaison officer to the U.S. Senate. He was also commanding officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Northern Iraq and Turkey on Operation Provide Comfort; chief of staff, Joint Task Force Provide Promise, for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia; and commanding general, 2nd Marine Division, Marine Forces Atlantic. He also served as military assistant to the secretary of defense from 1997 to 1999. He became the 32nd commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps in July 1999. During his NATO assignment from 2003 to 2006, he advocated for energy security and the defense of critical infrastructures as a core part of NATO’s future missions. Upon retirement in February 2007, General Jones became the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and, in 2008, served as the State Department’s special envoy for Middle East regional security. From 2009 until 2010, he served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser at the White House. Upon his retirement, the president said, "Jim has always been a steady voice in Situation Room sessions, daily briefings and with meetings with foreign leaders...the American people owe the general a debt for making the nation safer." General Jones offers a wealth of knowledge and speaks with poise and authority about national and international security, energy, and leadership requirements for success in the twenty-first century.