Joseph D. Stafford, III has served as the Security Governance Initiative (SGI) Coordinator at the American Embassy in Niamey, Niger since January 2016. In 2014 he retired from the Foreign Service after 35 years of service with the rank of Minister-Counselor. Prior to that he served as Charge’ d’affaires of the American Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, Consul General, in Lagos, Nigeria and as the Anti-Corruption Coordinator in Baghdad. In 2007 he was on the faculty of the National War College after serving as Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia. He was Deputy Chief of Mission to Abidjan, Tunis, Algiers, and Nouakchott. He also served as the State Department’s Deputy Director of Maghreb Affairs, and was the Political Analyst for the Arabian Peninsula in the State Department’s Office of Intelligence and Research. His earlier assignments were to Algiers, Kuwait, Cairo, Palermo, and Tehran. He joined the Foreign Service in 1978.
Ambassador Stafford holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). His foreign languages are Arabic, French, and Italian. He has received the State Department’s Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards as well as the Award for Valor. He is married and has one son.