John Christopher Stevens, who has been killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, was appointed as Libyan ambassador by Barack Obama in January 23, 2012.
Stevens practised international trade law in Washington DC for several years before joining the US Foreign Service in 1991.
As a speaker of French and Arabic [Editor Note: Typical for postings to the Middle East for American Diplomats], his early career consisted of foreign postings focused on the Middle East, including work in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Israel. He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1983 to 1985.
In 1996, Stevens served as a staff assistant in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department in Washington, the Iran desk officer, and special assistant to the under secretary for political affairs.
For a short period before May 2007, Stevens was on detail as a Pearson Fellow to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he served as minority staff adviser on Middle East affairs.
Stevens had served in Libya twice before, having been posted there for the first time in June 2007 as deputy chief of mission.
In 2009, he was later appointed as the chargé d'affaires at the embassy in Tripoli and soon after was named director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs.
On April 5 2011 he arrived for his second tour in Libya. Stevens served as special representative to the Libyan Transitional National Council where he was sent to rebel headquarters in Benghazi, with the intention of forging stronger links with the Interim Transitional National Council, and intending to gain a better understanding of the various factions fighting the Gadhafi regime.
Stevens' reports back to the US government are believed to have encouraged the American support of the rebel council, formally carried out in July 2011 by Obama administration.
Upon his arrival in April last year, Stevens became the highest-ranking US representative to travel to Libya since the uprising began.
He was appointed as ambassador in January this year by the Obama administration and took up his post in Tripoli in May.
The attack on the embassy occurred on Tuesday night, the 11th anniversary of 9/11.