Stephen McFarland

United States |  Ambassador, US State Department


Ambassador Stephen G. McFarland served as US Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala between 2008 and 2011. 

Previously, he served as director of Stability Operations Training in the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State. In 2007, he led a civilian-military Provincial Reconstruction Team embedded with Marine Corps Regimental Combat Team 2 in western Iraq.

The son of a diplomat, Ambassador McFarland grew up in Latin America and the Middle East, as well as in central Texas and suburban Washington, D.C. He joined the Foreign Service in 1977, and was subsequently posted to Maracaibo, Venezuela. He has served in a series of assignments in Latin America focusing on U.S. support for democratic transitions, human rights, and security. He has held positions including political officer in Ecuador and Peru, desk officer for Nicaragua, and political counselor in El Salvador, Bolivia, and Peru. He was the U.S. member of the interim cease-fire monitoring group on the Peru-Ecuador border in 1995. He later served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and the Chargé d’Affaires in both Paraguay and Guatemala, as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Venezuela, and as the Director of Cuban Affairs in the Department of State.

Ambassador McFarland speaks fluent Spanish and some Guarani, and he is currently studying K’iche’. He is a graduate of the Colegio Roosevelt in Lima, Peru; Yale University; and the U.S. Air War College. He also attended the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course.

McFarland was a speaker at the Dialogue. 

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