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Stephanie Williams has extensive experience in international mediation, diplomacy, and security policy.  With the United Nations, she served most recently as the Special Adviser to Secretary General on Libya (2021-2022), Acting Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) (2020-2021), and as Deputy Special Representative (Political) of UNSMIL (2018-2020).  Williams led the United Nations’ mediation that resulted in a nation-wide Libyan ceasefire agreement signed on October 23, 2020 and a political agreement reached on February 5, 2021 that produced Libya’s first unity government in seven years.

Williams retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2018 with the rank of Minister- Counsellor after serving as Chargé d’Affaires a.i. for the U.S. Embassy to Libya based in Tunisia.  She also served as Senior Adviser on Syria (2017-2018), Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission in Iraq (2016-2017), in Jordan (2013-2015) and in Bahrain (2010-2013) in addition to tours in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Pakistan.  In Washington, she served in a variety of policy jobs, including as Director of Maghreb Affairs. 

Williams graduated with honours from the University of Maryland in 1987 with a double degree in Economics and Government Relations.  In 1989, she earned a Master’s Degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.  She is a ‘Distinguished Graduate’ of the National War College, where she earned a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies in 2008. Williams is fluent in Arabic and is currently a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Center’s Center for Middle East Policy and a Senior Fellow at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute.

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