News / USA

Profile: Longtime US Diplomat, J. Christopher Stevens

VOA News
J. Christopher Stevens, 52, had served as U.S. ambassador to Libya since May.  He had been a supporter of the revolt that overthrew Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, and served as a U.S. envoy to the Transitional National Council in Benghazi during the Libyan revolution.

Stevens was appointed ambassador to Libya in May 2012.  In a State Department video released shortly after he got the job, he said "I was thrilled to watch the Libyan people stand up and demand their rights."

He said he was excited to return to Libya to help build a partnership between the United States and Libya and help the Libyan people achieve their goals.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Stevens was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi as the Libyan conflict unfolded.  She said he arrived in the port on a cargo ship to start working with the rebels.

"He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation," Clinton said in a statement.

  • Then-U.S. envoy J. Christopher Stevens attends meetings at the Tibesty Hotel in Benghazi, Libya. (April 2011 file photo)
  • J. Christopher Stevens, newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Libya, shakes hands with Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil (R) after presenting his credentials during a meeting in Tripoli, June 7, 2012.
  • Then-U.S. envoy Christopher Stevens speaks to local media before attending meetings at the Tibesty Hotel where an African Union delegation was meeting with opposition leaders in Benghazi, Libya. (April 2011 file photo)
  • In this photo posted on the U.S. Embassy Tripoli Facebook page, Christopher Stevens poses with a shop owner in Tripoli, Libya, August 12, 2012.
  • Christopher Stevens, center, accompanied by British envoy Christopher Prentice, left, speaks to Council member for Misrata Dr. Suleiman Fortia, right, in Benghazi, Libya (April 2011 file photo).
  • Christopher Stevens (R), Britain's diplomatic representative Christopher Prentice (L) and deputy chairman of the TNC Abdul Hafiz Ghoqa (C) attend a memorial service for slain photojournalists Tim Hetherington an Chris Hondros in Benghazi, April 2011.
  • U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Stephen Rapp with Christopher Stevens (C), after a meeting with Libyan Justice Minister Ali Ashour discussing cooperation between the two countries on issues of human rights, in Tripoli June 27, 2012.

Stevens spoke Arabic and French.  He joined the Foreign Service in 1991 and was assigned in Israel, Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  Before the Foreign Service, he worked as an international trade lawyer in Washington and taught English in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer.  

Stevens grew up in the western U.S. state of California and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.  He got his law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law in 1989, and an M.S. from the National War College in 2010.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid