Retired Major General Jonathan Scott Gration was named Special Envoy to Sudan by President Barack Obama on March 18, 2009.
The son of missionary parents, he spent his childhood years in the now Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. Upon graduation from Rutgers University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, General Gration joined the United States Air Force where he served from 1974 to 2006.
During his early years in the Air Force, General Gration served as an F-5 and F-16 instructor pilot, including a two-year assignment with the Kenya Air Force. His staff positions included tours in the Pentagon and NATO, and a White House Fellowship. In 1995 General Gration took command of the 4404th Operations Group in Saudi Arabia, where he was in command during the Khobar Towers bombing. In 1996 he was transferred to Turkey to oversee Operation Northern Watch, enforcing a no-fly zone over Iraq.
In 2000 and 2001 General Gration was Deputy Director for Operations in the Joint Staff in Washington and then spent a year and a half as Director of Regional Affairs for the Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.
From January to June 2003, he commanded Joint Task Force-West during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In August 2003 he was appointed Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, and from June 2004 to October 2006, he served as Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy Directorate of United States European Command.
General Gration speaks Swahili and has an MA from Georgetown University in National Security Studies.
After retiring from the Air Force, General Gration served as the CEO of Millennium Villages (an organization dedicated to reducing extreme poverty), then joined the Safe Water Network where he helped to provide safe water to vulnerable populations in India, Bangladesh, and Ghana.
General Gration was a national security adviser to the Obama Presidential campaign and served as a Special Assistant to the President. He was appointed as President’s Special Envoy to Sudan on March 18, 2009.
U.S. Department of State