Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Chief Global Officer, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; U.S. Ambassador to Panama (2008-2010)

Ambassador Barbara Stephenson (Ret.)

About the Speaker

Barbara Stephenson was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in London in 2010. After the departure of Ambassador Louis Susman, Stephenson was appointed acting Charge d’Affaires, a post she held until August 2013. Stephenson is a Minister Counselor in the career Senior Foreign Service and joined the State Department in 1985. Stephenson served as U.S. Ambassador to Panama from 2008 to 2010 and as Deputy Coordinator for Iraq from 2006 to 2008, during which time Stephenson oversaw the ‘civilian surge’ to Iraq. Stephenson has also worked as special assistant covering European affairs to Under Secretaries for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff and Tom Pickering, and has held the position of Director for Planning in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Beyond the UK, Stephenson has served in Northern Ireland, Curacao, South Africa, the Netherlands, El Salvador, and Panama, where she began her career. Before joining the Foreign Service, Stephenson earned a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida.