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We Meet Former Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

The American Academy of Diplomacy

Barbara Stephenson is a career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service who served as the Ambassador to the Republic of Panama during the Obama Administration. During her more than 30 year career she also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in London, and as Deputy Coordinator for Iraq at the U.S. Department of State.

She is also past President of the American Foreign Service Association, and was Dean of the Leadership and Management School of the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia. She is currently Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Chief Global Officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Stephenson was born and raised in Florida, receiving a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in English, all from the University of Florida.​ She was in town to give the keynote address at the Southwest Florida Model United Nations Conference, so we thought we’d bring her into the studio to find out what life as a career foreign service officer is like. She sat down with WGGCU’s Julie Glenn.