John Melvin Jones was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Guyana in 2008. Nominated by President George W. Bush on June 30, 2008, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and arrived in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, on October 8 of that year. Due to health issues, the result of injuries sustained while on non-military duty in the Middle East, Jones resigned, returned to the U.S. on December 31, 2009, and retired after serving 28 years with the U.S. Department of State.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Jones was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Howard University in Washington D.C. for both undergraduate and law schools. After earning a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he practiced law in Philadelphia and then taught at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania and George Mason University in Washington, D.C. Jones is also a 1994 graduate of the National War College and holds a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the National Defense University, both in Washington, D.C.
A career member of the U.S. Foreign Service since 1981, he has held several posts overseas. He has served as Consul General in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Deputy Chief of Mission in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Consul General in Brussels, Belgium; Head of the Refugee Office in Bangkok, Thailand, and Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. He also served briefly at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica.
His U.S. State Department assignments have included Senior Inspector in the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of State, Senior Watch Officer in the State Department Operations Center, Deputy in the Office of West African Affairs, and Deputy for Regional Political and Military Affairs in the Bureau of European Affairs.
By the mid-1990s Jones had become an expert in counter-terrorist activity. During that period he was the State Department Representative on the Foreign Terrorist Asset Targeting Group. With that