Before accepting the position at the Board, Mr. Jonas served as the Director of Legal Strategy and Analysis in the Department of Energy’s Office of the General Counsel. In this capacity, he advised the Secretary of Energy and other senior officials on long-range legal strategies to prepare for major national contingencies such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Prior to this appointment, he served as the General Counsel, and earlier as the Deputy General Counsel, for the National Nuclear Security Administration during the period September 2001 through February 2011.
Mr. Jonas had a distinguished military career before entering Federal civilian service. From 1997 through 2001, he served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the nuclear non-proliferation planner, providing legal and policy analysis to the JCS Chairman on nuclear non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament treaties, and international negotiations. For his service on the Joint Staff, he received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
In the U.S. Marine Corps, he held varied and high profile legal positions. He served as the Staff Judge Advocate of the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (afloat). He also commanded Headquarters Company, 5th Marine Regiment and Support Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. As counsel of record in the case of Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452 (1994), he became the first active duty judge advocate in the history of the Armed Forces to argue a case at the U.S. Supreme Court. He received the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Award for Excellence in Legal Writing in 1992 and was selected by the Judge Advocates Association as the Outstanding Career Judge Advocate for the Marine Corps in 2000. He retired from the Marines as a lieutenant colonel in 2001.
Mr. Jonas holds a B.A. in Political Science from Denison University and a J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law. In addition, he has an LL.M. in military law from the Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, and an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the Georgetown University Law Center. He recently completed work on a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.