• Chris Stevens received a bachelor’s degree in history from UC Berkeley
    in 1982. He immediately joined the Peace Corps, which took him to Morocco.
    This experience sparked an abiding passion for the Middle East, leading
    eventually to his career in the U.S. Foreign Service and postings in several
    Middle Eastern countries.
  • On the evening of January 27, 2017, friends, family, faculty, students and other guests
    joined the CMES at California Memorial Stadium to inaugurate the
    Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Program for Middle Eastern Studies.

Ambassador Stevens Program

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The Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Program for Middle Eastern Studies houses various projects that enable a new generation of dedicated scholars to expand and deepen their knowledge of the Middle East and North Africa. The program’s impact is twofold, as it comprises two separate initiatives.

Stevens Scholars Project

The Stevens Scholars Project supports research and travel by UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students who demonstrate a high level of distinction in the study of the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the areas of culture, language, politics, and history. Since 2015, it has enabled 20 students to travel to eight different countries in the region. From studying the limited water resources in Jordan to exploring the connections between Islam, feminism, and family law, Stevens scholars have gained invaluable experience. Complete application details are available here. The project is made possible by The Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Fund for Middle Eastern Studies, established by the family and friends of Chris Stevens on September 11, 2013, the one-year anniversary of his death in Libya. 

Stevens Initiative Global Ambassadors Project

The J. Christopher Stevens Global Ambassadors Project is an innovative series of virtual exchanges, providing an opportunity for UC Berkeley students to interact with a diverse group of peers at institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. Funded by the Stevens Initiative—a multilateral public-private partnership housed at the Aspen Institute and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State—the project strives to encourage cross-cultural understanding, giving students a chance to learn in a diverse and engaging environment while equipping them with the tools they need to communicate and cooperate with confidence in the twenty first century. Since it began in 2016, it has provided more than 200 UC Berkeley students opportunities to engage with nearly 230 students across the Middle East and North Africa.

For more information about this program, click here.


Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
340 Stephens Hall, Berkeley, CA  94720-2314



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