An Update on Management of the Department of State’s Continuing Afghan Relocation and Resettlement Efforts
Today, Ambassador John Bass is transitioning from his temporary position as the Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts, and Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones is succeeding him. Ambassador Bass is a dedicated public servant, who stepped in at the Secretary’s request on a temporary basis to lead State Department efforts to evacuate American citizens and Afghans from Afghanistan. In August, he was on the ground at the Kabul airport, working with military colleagues and Embassy Kabul staff. He then returned to Washington to help stand up our team to continue to facilitate the departure of American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and others from Afghanistan. We thank him for his service in this role. As Ambassador Bass transitions, we are honored to welcome back Ambassador Jones to the Department of State.
As the Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts, Ambassador Jones will assume oversight of the entire Afghanistan relocation effort, from our ongoing efforts to facilitate the departure of individuals from Afghanistan to their onward relocation and resettlement in the United States. Ambassador Jones is exceptionally well-equipped to take on this critical role, returning from her retirement from the foreign service. Her first assignment as a foreign service officer was in Kabul, and, as a member of the senior foreign service, she was the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was our Ambassador to Kazakhstan and assistant secretary of two bureaus (EUR and NEA).
As she takes over these new duties, Ambassador Jones will focus on the very complex issues related to our efforts to facilitate the relocation and resettlement in the United States of Afghan individuals to whom we have a commitment. This includes efficient and effective coordination within the Department, across the interagency and with international partners, as well as outreach to our colleagues in Congress, our press corps, and to others. These operations will be managed along four primary areas of responsibility: relocation out of Afghanistan, third-country transit and processing outside the United States, resettlement in the United States, and overall outreach and engagement.