By Ezra Odogu
A new Consul General, Mr. Will Stevens has been announced for the United States Mission in Lagos.
Stevens succeeds Claire Pierangelo who led the US Consulate General Lagos from August 2019 to April 2022.
According to a statement, as Consul General in Lagos, Stevens is the senior US Government representative to the Nigerian people throughout the 17 states in southern Nigeria.
He is responsible for leading and overseeing US government activities that enhance trade and investment relations and bilateral people-to-people ties across the region.
“My family and I look forward to getting to know Nigeria first-hand – exploring the region, experiencing the culture, and most importantly, meeting the people,” Consul General Stevens said.
It stated that Stevens had served more than 19 years in the US Department of State as a career Foreign Service Officer with overseas experience in South Africa, Russia, Turkmenistan, Israel, and Belarus, as well as experience in Washington at the Foreign Service Institute, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, and the Bureau of African Affairs.
“Before arriving in Nigeria, Mr. Stevens served as the Acting Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa, where he directed the U.S. government’s engagement in South Africa’s three cape provinces.
“Under his leadership, US-South Africa’s trade and investment expanded by 50 percent over two years, and he coordinated the US government’s response to COVID-19 in the Cape.
“In 2014, he received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, the State Department’s highest award in public diplomacy, for leading the U.S. Government’s Interagency Task Force on countering Russian propaganda during the Ukraine crisis.
“In the Bureau of African Affairs, Mr. Stevens served as Senior Advisor on countering violent extremism and, as the Bureau’s Spokesperson.
“He directed the public affairs planning and messaging for the 2014 U.S.-Africa Heads of State Summit that brought together 50 African leaders in Washington for the first time,” it added.
Stevens was the Director of the Foreign Service Institute’s Public Diplomacy (PD) Training Division from 2017-2019, where he coordinated the training of the State Department’s entire public affairs and public diplomacy corps. His leadership and the team were recognised in the Public Diplomacy Council’s annual “Ten Best” for the “Best Use of social media by an Embassy while serving as the Spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow between 2014 and 2016.
He has also served as Chief of Staff at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, chief of public affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan, and in the press and cultural affairs offices at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.