November 14th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Jill Kelley, honorary consul

From Jill Dougherty, CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

In a 911 call, aspiring socialite Jill Kelley demands that police in Tampa, Florida, help remove people from her property, describing herself as an “honorary consul general.”

"I am an honorary consul general,” the 911 recording says. “… I have inviolability. They should not be on my property. I don't know if you want to get diplomatic, uh, protection involved as well. It's against the law to cross my property …"

Kelley, it turns out, is an “honorary consul” for the South Korean government, according to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The official South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that Kelley had "good connections and network and a willingness to develop Korea-U.S. relations, including the free trade agreement between the two nations."

South Korean officials tell CNN that “an honorary consul can generally play a role of promoting trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.”

South Korean Presidential Decree No. 23706 describes the duties as anything from “work(ing) to protect Korean national/resident living abroad” to “promoting interacting of trade, economy, art, science and education.”

The honorary post, however, has no official responsibilities, in spite of Kelley’s attempts to invoke “inviolability.” Yonhap cites a South Korean official as saying that “she will be relieved from the symbolic post if she is found to be problematic.”

Cho Tae-yong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, tells CNN: “Nothing is decided. We are currently observing the situation closely.”

Kelley also had “honorary consul” license plates on her car. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tells CNN that she has the plates because she is an “honorary consulate.”

But the State Department and the Defense Department stress that Kelley has no official job with the U.S. government. She was strictly a volunteer.

Jennifer Clinton, president of the National Council for International Visitors, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., tells CNN: “From what I understand, she was a volunteer to our member organization in Tampa.”

“What the volunteers do typically is host some of the international visitors for dinner, or they’ll speak to them and provide information about the local community,” she said.

The council specializes in “citizen diplomacy,” which builds “person-to-person relationships ‘one handshake at a time.’ ” The council, in turn, helps implement international visitor programs for the State Department.

But such a “citizen diplomat” designation carries no legal or diplomatic privileges, even if Kelley tried to give that impression.

Kelley was also given the title of “honorary ambassador” by the U.S. Central Command, according to a defense official. The title is, “meaningless” and holds no power and is given for recognition of specific work, according the official.

The title is nothing more than a certificate given by CENTCOM’s Coalition Coordination Center, a group of military representatives from different countries which are working with the United States on terrorism issues. That group, led by a low-level U.S. military officer, recommended Kelley for the title.  It is unclear when she was given this title. As a honorary ambassador, Kelley would have duties such as organizing and facilitating unclassified briefings for community leaders to help them better understand the work of the U.S. Central Command and its allies, according to the official.

In a different role, Kelley also hosted many events off-base to honor members of the military and was hosting one when her name became public for her role in the Petraeus scandal, the official said.   At that event, Vice Admiral Robert Harward, CENTCOM’s Deputy Commander had stopped by briefly as a guest, according to the official.

soundoff (350 Responses)
  1. pharmaceptica

    sildenafil gel caps

    June 24, 2021 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  2. apposyattance side effects of tadalafil – lowest price cialis tadalafil drug

    May 27, 2021 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  3. CleplePewCred where to get tadalafil – prescription tadalafil online where to buy tadalafil on line

    May 26, 2021 at 10:46 am | Reply
  4. apposyattance

    tadalafil cialis tadalafil dosage side effects for tadalafil cost of cialis – cialis cost

    May 25, 2021 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  5. brimonidine

    brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic combigan eye drops generic

    May 25, 2021 at 6:57 am | Reply
  6. CleplePewCred

    tadalafil cialis lowest price cialis tadalafil dosage tadalafil blood pressure

    May 24, 2021 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  7. stornobrzinol

    Merely wanna input on few general things, The website style is perfect, the content is rattling excellent : D.

    May 16, 2021 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  8. combigan

    combigan coupon brimonidine generic

    May 16, 2021 at 7:48 am | Reply
  9. avanafil

    avana tabs avanafil pill

    May 15, 2021 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  10. cyclosporine

    cyclosporine pharmacology cyclomune

    May 15, 2021 at 7:35 am | Reply
  11. priligy

    dapoxetine tablet priligy 90 mg

    May 9, 2021 at 12:35 am | Reply
  12. canadian pills online

    average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian? canadian weight loss pills

    May 2, 2021 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  13. top erection pills

    erectile therapy erectile on demand reviews

    April 28, 2021 at 8:48 am | Reply
  14. hydroxychloroquine aralen

    who makes chloroquine phosphate clorquine

    April 27, 2021 at 5:07 am | Reply
  15. levitra generic vardenafil

    warnings for vardenafil maximum dose how does vardenafil work

    April 26, 2021 at 7:18 am | Reply
  16. 40 mg tadalafil

    generic tadalafil united states order tadalafil

    April 23, 2021 at 7:27 am | Reply
  17. buy sildenafil 100mg

    sildenafil generic for sale sildenafil prescription

    April 21, 2021 at 9:25 am | Reply
  18. z pack zithromax

    azithromycin generic name zithormax

    April 16, 2021 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  19. how much is alprostadil

    alprostadil cream reviews alprostadil cream cost

    April 11, 2021 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  20. Darrin Beynon

    I have been examinating out a few of your articles and i can claim pretty nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your website.

    March 6, 2021 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  21. Alexis Recupero

    March 4, 2021 at 9:51 am | Reply
  22. tengeri szállítmányozás Europa-Road Kft

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

    February 9, 2021 at 4:01 am | Reply
  23. zortilonrel

    The next time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my option to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you could possibly fix in the event you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

    February 7, 2021 at 5:36 am | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to Kurt


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.