Elizabeth Jones is set to be tapped as the coordinator for Afghan relocation efforts, according to a U.S. official and two congressional sources familiar with the move.
The State Department plans to announce as soon as this week that Jones, a veteran diplomat who served as the ambassador to Kazakhstan and as deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, will replace John Bass, the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, the people said.
In the new position, Jones will be responsible for overseeing the entire Afghanistan effort, from facilitating the departures of people who still want to leave, to relocating them in the U.S.
Jones served as the ambassador to Kazakhstan from 1995 to 1998 and the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia from 2001 to 2005, according to the State Department website. She returned to the State Department as deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2011, before being appointed acting assistant secretary of state for the Near East in 2012.
In July, President Joe Biden nominated Bass to be undersecretary of state for management. His nomination is still pending with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Bass, a career foreign service officer, served as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from December 2017 to January 2020, and was previously posted in Ankara as the ambassador to Turkey. In August, the Biden administration sent him to Afghanistan to oversee relocation efforts there as the security situation deteriorated.