Jacques Paul Klein was born on 9 January 1939 in Sélestat, Alsace, France, the son of Jean Paul Klein and Josephine Klein (née Wolff). In the Middle Ages the seat of the Klein family was located in Wuille (Ville) in the Vosges Mountains. Barthel Klein and his descendants were Mayors, Municipal Magistrates and City Counselors in Ville. In 1695, after the Thirty Years' War, Jean Klein married Catherine Bleicher from nearly St. Hippolyte (St.Pilt) and after their marriage moved the family there, They became vintners after arriving in St. Hippolyte and have practiced viniculture since that time. After the death of Klein's father and the destruction of the family home and business at the end of World War II, his mother opted to move to the United States with her seven-year-old son, arriving on December 7, 1946. Prior to leaving France, Klein had begun his elementary school studies at College Koeberle in Selestat.
Klein and his wife Margrete (Gretchen) Siebert Klein
In August, 1968, Klein married Dr. Margrete (Gretchen) Siebert Klein. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, a Master of Science degree in Physics, and a Ph.D. in Science Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She pursued a professional career as a college instructor and subsequently served as a Staff Associate in the Division of Physics and as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia. They have two children, Christian and Maia, and four grandchildren, Nikolas, Sophia, Caroline and Courtenay.
General Klein was commissioned through Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1963, and was assigned to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, as Deputy Director of Personnel, and subsequently served as Chief of the Quality and Career Control Branches. In 1965, General Klein volunteered for service in South Vietnam and was assigned to Nha Trang Air Base to help activate the 14th Air Commando Wing. During that assignment, he earned his officer non-rated aircrew member wings flying intelligence, strike and reconnaissance missions in 0-1 Es with the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron. While in Vietnam, he was selected for assignment to the 1005th Special Investigations Group. In 1966, he completed basic intelligence and specialized counterintelligence training in Washington, D.C. before being assigned as Deputy Chief of the Counterintelligence Division, Office of Special Investigations, District 2, in New York City.
In January 1968, upon release from active duty to resume graduate studies, General Klein accepted a reserve assignment with the Office of Special Investigations, District 24 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1969, he was asked to assume a civilian position as Chief of the Counterintelligence Division. This appointment necessitated his reassignment as an Intelligence Officer to the 1127th field Activities Group, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. From 1969 to 1974, General Klein served with Intelligence Reserve Detachments 8, 11, and 21 in Illinois and Virginia before being assigned to the newly activated 7602nd Air Intelligence group at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
In 1975, General Klein activated Intelligence Reserve Detachment 23 at Ramstein Air Base, Federal Republic of Germany, and served as Intelligence Director and Executive Officer before assuming command in 1977. Upon graduation from the National War College in 1980, he became Commander of Intelligence Reserve Detachment 19, Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, while concurrently serving as the first Air Reserve Attache to the Federal Republic of Germany and, subsequently, to France. In June 1982, he was assigned as Mobilization Assistant to the Chief, Policy and Management Division, Directorate of International Programs, Air Staff. He was recalled to the intelligence career field in May 1983 as Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence at Air Force headquarters.
In March 1987, General Klein was reassigned as Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Program and Resources. He returned to the intelligence career field in September 1989 to serve as Mobilization Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. In April 1990, he was selected to serve as Mobilization Assistant to the Commander of Air University. In January 1991, General Klein was recalled to active duty for a short period of time during the Gulf War and retired to civilian life at the end of the conflict. He retired from the Air Force in August 1998, with 35 years, 2 months and 28 days service.
Klein took the Department of State Foreign Service Examination in June 1969 and entered the Foreign Service in 1971.
He served his initial tour of duty in the Operations Center of the Executive Secretariat, Office of the Secretary of State. He was subsequently posted abroad to serve as Consular Officer at the American Consulate General in Bremen, Federal Republic of Germany. In 1973, he was reassigned to the Department of State as a Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs. He returned overseas in 1975 upon assumption of diplomatic relations with the German Democratic Republic, to serve as Consular Officer in the newly opened American Embassy in Berlin. In 1977, he was reassigned and served a follow-on tour as a Political Officer at the American Embassy in Bonn.
Klein was selected to attend the National War College in 1979. After graduation, he was assigned as a Management Analysis Officer on the Policy Planning Staff in the Office of the Director General of the Foreign Service. He was seconded to the United States Department of Defense in 1982 to serve as Senior Adviser for International Affairs to the Secretary of the Air Force, with the rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary. He then returned to the Department of State to become Director of the Office of Strategic Technology Matters in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs. In 1989, he was again recalled to the Department of Defense to serve as Assistant Deputy Under-Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.
In 1990, Klein returned to the Department of State to serve as Principal Adviser to the Director General of the Foreign Service, and Director of Personnel for Career Development, Training and Detail Assignments. He returned abroad in 1993 to serve as Political Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
In 1996, United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali selected him to serve as Transitional Administrator for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), with the rank of Undersecretary General. As Chief of Mission, he had overall command and control responsibilities and day-to-day management authority of a multinational force of 5,000 military personnel, 350 international civilian police officers, 100 multi-national military observers, 300 international civil servants and a local national staff of 600. He administered a $370 million budget and, through skillful management, reduced actual expenditures by over $20 million per year. Klein forged a united and effective team including personnel from 28 different countries. They planned and executed the dangerous and complex demobilization of over 17,000 Serb troops, including several criminal paramilitary units, and successfully demilitarized the region, and seized the vital Djeletovci Oil Field controlled by Arkan's paramilitary thugs, known as the Scorpions and returned them to Croatian government control. His mission negotiated a comprehensive structure of minority rights and guarantees for the local population, held successful municipal elections for 150,000 voters and facilitated the return of over 100,000 displaced persons to the region. In conjunction with the International Criminal Court, they located, detained and arrested the first war criminal, under sealed indictment, in the former Yugoslavia. During the two-year U.N. mandate, Klein facilitated the return of the demilitarized region to Croatian national sovereignty. In 2011 he received the Certificate of Gratitude from the Association of Returnees of Croatia for his role in facilitating the return of over 200,00 Croatian returnees to their homes, leaving only some 400 who have yet to return.
Klein, Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke at the US Mission to the United Nations
Klein and President George W. Bush
Heads of Mission in Sarajevo OHR with Prime Minister Blair.jpeg
The conclusion of Klein's time at the UN was complicated by the premature release of a confidential UN audit from 2008 (later referred to as the Executive Summary of the Second Report) which had accused Klein of an "improper relationship":3 with a woman named Linda Fawaz. That report was rescinded by a UN appeals tribunal in 2010.:9,11 The report had alleged that Fawaz — a 30-year-old Liberian American woman described as the relative of the head of a major timber company — had accompanied Klein to diplomatic functions and had traveled, on occasion, aboard UN flights to Liberia.:3–4 Fawaz was suspected by UN auditers of passing documents to Charles Taylor.:3 Finding that the auditers had not given Klein the opportunity to respond to those allegations,:5 the report was deemed as inadequate by the tribunal tasked with reviewing it, who found that releasing it ran counter to the UN's mandate that it "only produce, maintain and disseminate investigation reports that have been created in accordance with the requirements of fairness and due process.":10
Klein had initially sought approximately $483,910:6 in compensation from the tribunal. Klein stated that the loss of income was due, in part, to the UN not reappointing him to various positions after leaving his role as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in April 2005.:11–12 The tribunal ruled that Klein's failure to seek administrative review at that time meant that damages for not receiving the appointment could not be awarded.:8,12 With regards to other work positions purportedly lost, the tribunal found that documents submitted by Klein in support of the claim of economic loss were "vague" and mostly consisted of correspondence from Klein himself.:12 Thus, Klein was entitled to no more than one year’s net base salary:14 in addition to $60,000 — the first amount owing to "the failure of due process in the course of the preparation of the Second Report",:13 and the second amount owing to "the emotional distress and anxiety suffered by (Klein) as a result of the UN's actions, as well as for the damage caused to his reputation.":14
During the 2005–2006 academic year, Klein held the position of Visiting Lecturer in International Affairs and Schultz Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. He was responsible for the development and presentation of undergraduate and graduate courses that examine the history of conflict management and resolution. Topics included humanitarian crisis management, United Nations peacekeeping operations and American foreign policy objectives, the role of United Nations peacekeeping in the post Cold War era, the role of the Security Council in United Nations decision making processes, the changing face of peacekeeping and peace enforcement, and the role and interest of the United States in United Nations reform.