The U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans was killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Tuesday by Muslim protesters angry about a film’s portrayal of Muhammad.
Of the four murdered, Ambassador Chris Stevens and Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith are the only names that have been released thus far.
According to the State Department, Stevens, who had been the ambassador to Libya since May 22, had served in the country twice previously — as Special Representative to the Libyan Transitional National Council from March 2011 to November 2011 and as the Deputy Chief of Mission from 2007 to 2009.
“I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago. He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa which began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco,” she said. “As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi. He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation. He spent every day since helping to finish the work that he started. Chris was committed to advancing America’s values and interests, even when that meant putting himself in danger.”
Ambassador Stevens was a northern California native, earning his undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley in 1982, and a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law in 1989. Stevens taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco between college and law school.
He earned an M.S. from the National War College at Fort McNair, D.C. in 2010.
Stevens joined the Foreign Service in 1991. Prior to his tenure with the State Department, the ambassador worked as an international trade lawyer in Washington, D.C.
The murdered ambassador also served as the Deputy Principal officer and Political Section Chief in Jerusalem, a political officer in Damascus, a consular/political officer in Cairo, and a consular/economic officer in Riyadh. In Washington, Stevens served as Director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs, a Pearson Fellow with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a special assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, an Iran desk officer, and a staff assistant in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, according to his State Department biography.
He spoke Arabic and French.
In a YouTube video directed at the Libyan people, highlighted at Gateway Pundit Wednesday morning, the ambassador spoke about his, at the time new, role as ambassador and expresses enthusiasm about working with the Libyan people.