USLBA Commemorates 5th Anniversary of Tragic Death of Ambassador Chris Stevens

September 12, 2017
Washington D.C. – On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi which led to the tragic death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, the US-Libya Business Association has released the following statement:
 
“Ambassador Stevens was a great champion of U.S.–Libyan relations, a great friend of our Association, and a role model for many diplomats, businessmen, and academics. He embodied the values of the US- Libya Business Association, as he sought to increase the person-to-person connections between Libyans and Americans in order to promote the mutual interests of our nations. Throughout his career, he selflessly strove for mutual cultural understanding. There was a tragic irony in his passing: He went to Benghazi even though he knew it was dangerous. One of the reasons he did so was to open an American cultural center and a hospital. Chris wanted to remain in touch with the Libyan people who he cared about so deeply. He felt that promoting links between Libyan officials, entrepreneurs, and citizens on the one hand, and American technical experts, businesses, and diplomats, on the other, would help to foster a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous Libya.”
 
Executive Director of USLBA Jason Pack wrote in an obituary of Amb. Stevens for Foreign Policy Magazine five years ago, ‘Chris was a casual and approachable man who boasted an impressive personal touch. His killing is not only a tragedy for both Americans and Libyans — it is an attack on the engagement efforts between the two countries that he symbolized.... As a staunch advocate of increased U.S. engagement in Libya, he frequently spoke about the nuts and bolts that would be needed to move the U.S.-Libyan relationship to the next level — seemingly trivial things like deploying a full-time commercial officer to work in the U.S. Embassy and smoothing the visa hurdles that prevent more Libyan students from studying in the United States.’
 
Ambassador Stevens is survived by his sister and parents. USLBA promotes the Stevens Initiative, which supports activities that build bridges between the people of the United States and the Middle East. In the spirit that inspired Chris, his family hopes the fund will promote religious tolerance, cultural understanding, educational youth exchanges, and other people-to-people programs. To find out more about the J. Christopher Stevens Fund, click here.