Foreign Service Officer, Embassy of The Bahamas to the United States
"Be open to opportunities. You never know what will come your way."
Jade Williams Jones ’11 has always loved exploring the world. Growing up in The Bahamas, Jade’s mother brought her along for almost all of her business trips, exposing Jade to different cultures, economic environments, and societies.
While she had traveled many places and Elmira College was far from her hometown of Nassau, Jade felt at home with the smaller class sizes, one-on-one attention, and community environment the College offered, along with a special connection back to The Bahamas.
“For such a small institution, Elmira College has a substantial network of alumni in The Bahamas, and their success was an indication of the success that I could attain as an Elmira graduate,” explained Jade.
While at Elmira, Jade pursued her worldly interests and passions with a degree in international studies. Professors, including Dr. Martha Easton, Dr. Kunihiko Imai, and Dr. Rafi Ahmed, helped deepen her knowledge of other cultures while gaining the adaptability and eloquence needed to be an effective diplomat.
During her senior year, Jade participated in “a life-changing” Term III trip to South Africa. She learned firsthand about South African culture through visiting iconic locations such as the Apartheid Museum, Cradle of Humankind, Kruger National Park, Robben Island, and Table Mountain.
“This trip contributed greatly to my personal development and I encourage all Elmira College students to take advantage of Term III travel,” reflected Jade.
Back on campus, Jade was the president of Enactus, an executive member of Voices United of Elmira for Diversity, and a member of the International Students Organization. She was also inducted into Iota Iota Iota, the National Women’s Studies Honor Society and Pi Gamma Mu, the International Honor Society in Social Sciences.
After graduating in 2011, Jade stayed at Elmira as a graduate assistant and earned a master of science in emergency and disaster preparedness management.
In 2013, Jade returned home to The Bahamas and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas, the government entity responsible for advancing the country’s interests abroad through the management of The Bahamas’ foreign relations. This role brought her to the Permanent Mission of The Bahamas to the United Nations, where she served as a representative of the country during the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. In January 2016, Jade started her current role with the diplomatic staff of the Embassy of The Bahamas.
Today, Jade continues a special connection to her country and college through the Elmira College Enactus Scholarship Competition. The annual competition allows Bahamian high school students to present their best business ideas to a panel of judges, with the grand prize being a $60,000 scholarship to Elmira College. Jade has served as one of the competition’s judges for the past two years.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing students to Elmira College and helping to increase the network of Elmira College students and alumni in The Bahamas,” explained Jade.
The competition is especially important to Jade. She actually won the competition in 2006 and it was one of the many reasons she chose to attend Elmira College.
While her education and career has brought her around the world, with opportunities to meet presidents and prime ministers, one of Jade’s fondest memories is marrying her husband Adrian Jones ’08. The two have been happily wed since July 2015 and the couple currently lives in Washington, D.C.