Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
Barbara J. Stephenson
Updated 03 April 2013
Barbara J. Stephenson is currently Chargé d’affaires at the United States Embassy in London, where she has served as Minister since August 24, 2010.
Previous to her assignment to London, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to Panama. Ambassador Stephenson, who holds the rank of Minister Counselor in the career Senior Foreign service, joined the State Department in 1985. As Deputy Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Coordinator for Iraq (2006-2008), she won the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award for developing and implementing the “civilian surge” that helped improve governance and reduce violence in Iraq’s provinces.
Before taking up Iraq duties, Ambassador Stephenson served as Director of Terrorism Finance in the Economic Bureau and then as Director for Planning in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. From 2001-2004, as the American Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she worked on the Northern Ireland Peace Process. From 1998-2001, she served as Consul General and Chief of Mission in Curacao, where she was responsible for the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles as well as Aruba.
Earlier in her career, Ambassador Stephenson served as special assistant to Under Secretaries for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff and Tom Pickering, covering European affairs, including the Balkans. Other assignments have included desk officer for the UK, political-military officer in South Africa, and political officer in The Hague and San Salvador. She began her career in Panama, serving first as an economic officer and then as a political officer.
Ambassador Stephenson holds a Ph.D. in English literature. She speaks Spanish and Dutch and reads French. She and her husband Matthew Furbush have two children, a daughter (23) and a son (13).
Speeches, Remarks & Events
Ambassador Stephenson's speeches and remarks are located on her Speeches & Remarks page.