Jonathan Ball grew up in Adelaide but started his working career as an infantry officer in the British Army, graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1988. Following five years in the British Army including time as a mechanised platoon commander in the British Army of the Rhine and numerous tours of Northern Ireland, Jonathan returned to Australia in 1992 to continue his military career. Over the next 15 years, career highlights included Commando qualification with 4 RAR (Cdo), designing the East Timor Defence Force as a UN Military Observer and sub unit command.
In 2007 Jonathan joined AusAID. Following a posting to Iraq as the First Secretary Development, Jonathan specialised in disaster response which included deployments to numerous disasters and a two-year secondment to the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency in Jakarta as their disaster response advisor. During this period he also consulted to the UN as a Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) specialist. In 2014 AusAID and DFAT merged at which point Jonathan was employed as Director, Humanitarian Operations, responsible for all of Australia’s overseas disaster responses. In 2014 Jonathan deployed to Tacloban in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan as the Mission Commander.
Jonathan’s other roles have included the Director, CivMil and Stabilisation, the DFAT liaison officer to HQ Joint Operations Command and Director, East Africa and Indian Ocean Section. Postings have included Deputy Ambassador in Afghanistan and three years in Kenya as the Deputy High Commissioner. In 2022, Jonathan was deployed to Abuja, Nigeria for 11 months as the Head of Mission.