On Monday, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres announced the appointment of Stephanie Williams as his Special Adviser on Libya.
Williams will lead the Secretary-General’s good offices, mediation efforts, and engagements with regional and international stakeholders. This is to implement the three intra-Libyan dialogue tracks – political, security, and economic – and support the holding of Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Libya.
The diplomat previously served as Acting Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) from 2020 to 2021, as well as UNSMIL’s Deputy Special Representative (Political) (2018-2020).
Williams, a senior member of the US Foreign Service holds the rank of Minister-Counsellor, joined the Libya External Office (Tunis) as Chargé d’Affaires a.i. in 2018. She previously served as Senior Adviser on Syria while based in London, and reported to the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2017-2018).
Williams also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Mission in Iraq (2016-2017), in Jordan (2013-2015) and in Bahrain (2010-2013). As well as at the US Embassies in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Pakistan. In Washington, she worked as the Jordan Desk Officer, the Deputy Director of Egypt and Levant Affairs, and the Director of the Maghreb Office.
She 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. She is fluent in English and Arabic.
Notably, the UN Special Envoy for Libya, Jan Kubis suddenly resigned less than a year after he took up the role, and a month before Libya’s planned elections according to the UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.