Khémaies Jhinaoui

Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tunisia; President, Tunisian Council for International Relations

Khémaies Jhinaoui is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Freedom & Prosperity Center and the founder and president of the Tunisian Council for International Relations, an independent think tank aiming at establishing a space that brings together all political and intellectual schools of thoughts willing to study and debate regional and international issues as well as the geostrategic and economic developments taking place in the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, and Mediterranean regions.

From January 2016 to October 2019, Jhinaoui was the minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Tunisia. In this capacity, he led major initiatives to gather political and economic support to the democratic transition in Tunisia and to advance peace agenda in the region. Previously, he served as diplomatic and foreign affairs advisor to late Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi in 2015 and as secretary of state for foreign affairs in the post-revolution transition government in 2011.

Jhinaoui had an extensive diplomatic career. From 2007 to 2011, he served as the Tunisian ambassador to the Russian Federation, Ukraine and former Republics of the Soviet Union. Earlier, he was ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland between 1999 and 2004. Following the Middle East Oslo Peace Process, he was appointed head of the Tunisian Interests Office in Tel-Aviv from May 1996 to 1998. Beyond these appointments, he has held several senior positions within the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as director general for political and economic cooperation with Europe and the European Union and as chief of staff of the minister of foreign affairs.

Jhinaoui received the distinction of Commander of the Republic Order, the highest distinction in Tunisia. He also received several honors from other countries such as Commander of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, and Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star from Sweden.

Jhinaoui holds a master’s degree in public law and a post-graduate degree in political sciences and international relations. He is also a barrister at law.