Stephen Michael Schwartz was sworn in as the thirteenth United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia on June 27, 2016.
Ambassador Schwartz has been a member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Counselor. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Schwartz served as the Director of the Office for Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs (ANP) in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP). He served as Deputy Director of EAP/ANP from 2008 to 2010.
Mr. Schwartz established and led the Nigeria Policy and Operations Group from 2014 to 2015, following a year as Director of the Office for West African Affairs. From 2010 to 2013 he served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Lusaka, Zambia.
From 2004-2007, Mr. Schwartz served as the DCM at the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius, which was responsible for relations with the Indian Ocean nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros. He has performed political, economic, consular, and management work during overseas assignments in Pretoria, South Africa (2001-2004); Havana, Cuba (1999- 2001); Bujumbura, Burundi (1995-1996); and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1992-1994). Mr. Schwartz’s Washington assignments include Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1998-1999) and Desk Officer for Sudan (1996-1998). He has been a career Foreign Service Officer since 1992.
Prior to joining the State Department, Mr. Schwartz worked at a non-governmental organization supporting transition in Eastern Europe & the former Soviet Union and in the Africa Program at the Brookings Institution. In the early 1980s he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and Peace Corps Desk Officer for Mauritania, Mali, and Burkina Faso.
Mr. Schwartz graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in May 1980 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He received a Master’s degree in African Studies in 1988 from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and earned a Master’s degree in National Security Strategy in 2008 at the National War College in Washington, DC.
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Mr. Schwartz speaks French and Spanish. He and his wife, Kristy Cook, have a 16-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son.