Though he’s no longer in the thick of the relationship, former U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Addleton has literally written the book on diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Mongolia since 1987.
“Mongolia and the United States: A Diplomatic History” was published in May, nearly a year after Dr. Addleton was transferred to a new position in Afghanistan following a second three-year stint working for the U.S. foreign service in Mongolia. He first served as mission director from USAID in the country from 2001-04, returning in 2009 as ambassador.
Mongolia only has 3 million people, but it’s a strategically important ally for the United States. Sandwiched between Russia and China, it gave up Soviet-style communism in the early 1990s and has been progressing on the path to democracy and economic liberalization since. New mineral discoveries in recent years have driven some of the highest growth rates in the world.
While it maintains strong links with its bordering lands, the United States has been key to its “third neighbor” policy of inviting closer ties with others to the offset the influence of its giant neighbors. Published by Hong Kong University Press and officially launched at a May event in Hong Kong, the book discusses this policy, along with emerging cooperation in security, education and business.
Dr. Addleton was heading up the U.S. mission when Vice President Joe Biden made a stop there in 2011 to affirm support for Mongolia’s steady progress.
“Since embarking on the path of a multiparty democracy in 1990, Mongolia has carried out a series of regularly scheduled parliamentary and presidential elections. It also demonstrates a continued respect for human rights as well as freedom of speech and the freedom of its citizens to choose where and how to live, work, travel and worship,” Dr. Addleton wrote to Global Atlanta at the time.
Born in Pakistan to missionaries, Dr. Addleton has strong family roots in Middle Georgia, where his parents still live. He has one son studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
He studied journalism at Northwestern University and has said that knowing how to write has been key to effective management in foreign-service posts.
Global Atlanta visited Mongolia in 2011 and profiled the ambassador.
Read more: Made for Mongolia: An Ambasador for the Times.
For more on the book, click here.