Officially In: John Christopher Stevens to Libya

On January 23, President Obama announced his intent to nominate John Christopher Stevens as the next Ambassador to Libya. The WH released the following brief bio:

John Christopher Stevens, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served as Special Representative to the Libyan Transitional National Council from March 2011 to November 2011.  Prior to this role, he was the Director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs.  From 2007 to 2009, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli, Libya.  From 2006 to 2007, he was a Pearson Fellow with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Previous overseas assignments have included: Deputy Principal Officer and Political Section Chief in Jerusalem; Political Officer in Damascus; Consular/Political Officer in Cairo; and Consular/Economic Officer in Riyadh.  In Washington, Mr. Stevens has served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Iran Desk Officer, and a Staff Assistant in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Stevens was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1983 to 1985.  He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, and an M.S. from the National War College.

Photo taken in Libya during Secretary Rice’s trip to Portugal, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria,
and Morocco, September 4 -7, 2008. State Dept. Photo by David Y. Lee
John C. Stevens identified with a red arrow

On 2007, Mr. Stevens arrived in Libya as the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission and later became post’s Charge’ d’Affaires. His bio indicates that prior to joining the State Department in 1991, Mr. Stevens was an international trade lawyer in Washington, DC. He also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. He speaks Arabic and French. He was born and raised in northern California.

During the Libyan Revolution, Mr. Stevens was sent to Benghazi reportedly to establish better links with the rebel leadership, the Interim Transitional National Council, and draw a better picture of the groups fighting Muammar Qaddafi. At that time, for understandable reasons, the State Department had sought to keep his role low profile, refusing to release his official biography. He was only mentioned in passing by his boss as an unnamed “young diplomat.”

Except for a postage-sized photo posted on the embassy’s page in the Internet archive, we’re only able to find one photo of Mr. Stevens taken during Secretary Rice’s 2008 visit to Libya which we posted above. We’ll see more of him when he gets his confirmation hearing and presumably after he gets to Tripoli.  If confirmed, he would succeed Gene Cretz, a career diplomat nominated by President Bush for the Libya post in 2007 but did not get confirmed until November 2008.

Related items:
January 23, 2012 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Peace Corps News: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sends RPCV John Christopher Stevens as Special Envoy to Libya

Clinton Sends Envoy Stevens to Size Up Libyan Opposition

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Filed under FSOs, Nominations, Officially In, U.S. Missions

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