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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid