Jean Ping (born November 24, 1942) is a Gabonese diplomat and politician who is currently the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union. He was previously the Foreign Minister of Gabon from 1999 to 2008 and served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 2004 to 2005.
The son of Chinese trader Cheng Zhiping (Chinese: 程志平) of Wenzhou descent, and a Gabonese mother, Jean Ping was born in Omboué, Etimbwé Department, Ogooué-Maritime Province. In 1972, he began working at UNESCO in its Sector for External Relations and Cooperation as an international civil servant. In 1978, he became advisor to the Gabonese embassy in France, and he subsequently became Gabon's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, in which position he served until 1984. He became Director of the Civil Cabinet of the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo, in 1984, serving in that position until 1990.
On February 26, 1990, Ping became Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunications, Tourism and Recreation, and Reform of the Parastatal Sector, in charge of relations with Parliament, as well as Government Spokesman. He served in that position for two months before becoming Minister of Mines, Energy, and Hydraulic Resources on April 29, 1990. He remained in the latter position until June 1991, then served as Minister of Mines, Energy, and Hydraulic Resources for a second time from August 28, 1992 to March 24, 1994. He was then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, and La Francophonie from March 25, 1994 to October 29, 1994, then Minister Delegate to the Minister of Finance, the Economy, the Budget, and Privatisation from October 30, 1994 until he was appointed as Minister of Planning, the Environment and Tourism on January 28, 1997. Two years later, he was promoted to the position of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, La Francophonie, and Regional Integration on January 25, 1999. He remained Foreign Minister for nine years.