Stephanie Turco Williams is a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy, having recently served as special adviser on Libya to the United Nations secretary-general. Her research includes examining international mediation efforts in an era of global disorder and conflict resolution in failed states.
Williams previously served as the acting special representative of the secretary general (ASRSG) for Libya and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and before that, as the deputy special representative of the secretary general for Libya. During her tenure as the ASRSG, Stephanie 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. Under her direction, the parties to the Libyan conflict also agreed to the holding of national elections on December 24, 2021.
Williams served in the U.S. Foreign Service for over 24 years, with a career focus on the Middle East region. She headed the U.S. Embassy to Libya prior to her retirement with the rank of minister counselor. Stephanie also served as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassies in Iraq and Jordan and was the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain during the Arab Spring. She served in policy positions in the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau and was the recipient of several Superior Honor Awards during her tenure in the U.S. Department of State.
Born in Maryland, Stephanie has a Master of Arts in Arab studies from Georgetown University and a Master of Science in national security studies from the National War College in addition to a double Bachelors’ degree in economics and government relations from the University of Maryland. She speaks Arabic and has been published in Asharq Al-Awsat and Newsline.
Areas of Expertise
- Nation building in failed states
- Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General, U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)
- Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Political Affairs, UNSMIL
- Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, Libya (based in Tunisia)
- Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq
- Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, Amman, Jordan
- Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, Manama, Bahrain
- Master of Science, Arab Studies, National War College, 2008
- Master of Arts, National Security Studies, Georgetown University, 1989
- Bachelor of Arts, Economics, University of Maryland, 1987
- Bachelor of Arts, Government Relations, University of Maryland, 1987