Ambassador Kathleen Stephens has arrived at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to begin her tenure as the United States Chargé d’Affaires ad interim to India. Chargé d’Affaires Stephens will lead the U.S. Mission’s work in continuing to advance the U.S.-India strategic partnership, and looks forward to working closely with the new Indian government.
Upon her arrival in New Delhi Chargé d’Affaires Stephens said, “I am excited to continue our joint efforts to strengthen and broaden the U.S.-India partnership. I particularly look forward to working with our Indian partners to increase our shared prosperity by growing our trade and investment, enhancing regional security and economic integration, expanding our robust cooperation in energy, science, technology, and health, continuing our support of successful transitions in Afghanistan, expanding counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation, and further developing our outstanding people-to-people ties. As Secretary Kerry has said, the friendship between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy is absolutely vital, and the United States is deeply invested in our strategic relationship. There is tremendous potential still to be realized in the U.S.-India partnership, and I look forward to making the most of my time in India.”
Kathleen Stephens, the 2013-2014 Koret Fellow at Stanford University, will assume duty as Chargé d’Affaires in New Delhi in early June 2014.
Ambassador Stephens served in the U.S. Foreign Service 1978-2013, achieving the rank of Career Minister. She was Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in 2012, and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, 2008 to 2011.
Ambassador Stephens’ diplomatic career included service in numerous posts in Washington, Asia, and Europe. She was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP), and before that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR), focused on post-conflict and stabilization issues in the Balkans. Other Washington assignments included Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, Senior United Kingdom Country Officer in the European Bureau, and Director of the State Department’s Office of Ecology and Terrestrial Conservation in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Scientific Affairs.
Her overseas postings included Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal (1998-2001), and U.S. Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland (1995-1998) during the consolidation of ceasefires and negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement. Earlier foreign assignments included consular and public affairs officer in Guangzhou, China, chief of the internal political unit in Seoul, principal officer of the U.S. Consulate in Busan, Korea, and political officer in fracturing Yugoslavia.
Ambassador Stephens’ U.S. government awards include Linguist of the Year in 2010, and the 2009 Presidential Meritorious Service Award. Other awards and recognition include the Korean government’s Sejong Cultural Prize and the Korea-America Friendship Association Prize in 2013, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, and the Kwanghwa Medal of Diplomatic Merit from the Korean government.
The Korean-language book “Reflections of an American Ambassador to Korea,” based on her blog, was published in 2010. Stephens joined the board of The Asia Foundation in 2014.
Kathleen Stephens was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up in Arizona and Montana. She holds a BA (Honors) in East Asian studies from Prescott College, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and honorary doctoral degrees from Chungnam National University and the University of Maryland. She studied at the University of Hong Kong. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea in the 1970s.