Professor who knew slain ambassador to Libya refle...

Professor who knew slain ambassador to Libya reflects on legacy

Ambassador Christopher Stevens, second fromt left, who was killed Tuesday as gunmen laid siege to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, visits the Cafe an-Nawfra in Damascus, Syria, with Dr. Sean Foley and his then-fiancee, Kerry, in this 2002 photo. The man at the far left is unidentified. (photo submitted)

An MTSU professor who was acquainted personally with the late Christopher Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya, says he was the kind of person who was “in his element” in diplomatic service.

Dr. Sean Foley, associate professor of history and a Middle East scholar, says he met Stevens in Damascus, Syria, in 2002. He noted that they had several important things in common.

“We were both from the San Francisco Bay Area, had studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and were committed to understanding the modern Middle East,” said Foley.

“He was a warm person, and the Libyans responded to him with warmth. It’s obvious from the photos of him that he was in his element. He was in the right place in the right time.”

Stevens was killed along with three other Americans Sept. 11 when terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

You can read a PDF of Foley’s op-ed piece in the Saturday, Sept. 15, editions of The Tennessean here.

— Gina K. Logue (