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Coordinating Director of Rule of Law and Law Enforcement

Stephen G. McFarland:Coordinating Director of Rule of Law and Law Enforcement

Stephen G. McFarland

Coordinating Director of Rule of Law and Law Enforcement

Term of Appointment: January 2012  to present

Stephen McFarland joined U.S. Embassy Kabul in January 2012 as the Coordinating Director for Rule of Law and Law Enforcement (CDROLLE).  Previously he served as Ambassador to Guatemala from 2008 to 2011.  He is a United States Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor.  His prior service includes tours as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Venezuela, and as DCM and Charge in Guatemala and Paraguay.  In 2007 in Iraq he set up and led a “surge” Provincial Reconstruction Team embedded with Marine Regimental Combat Team 2 in western Al Anbar province. 

As Ambassador to Guatemala, Mr. McFarland led vigorous USG interagency support to Guatemalan and American efforts in justice, citizen security, counter-narcotics, democratic elections, poverty reduction, protection of American citizens, and human rights including indigenous and women’s rights.  Under his leadership, the Embassy carried out innovative outreach to all Guatemalans.

Earlier in his career he was political counselor in El Salvador and Peru during periods of insurgency and political conflict.  He was the first American official to meet with the Salvadoran guerrillas in the field as they considered entering peace talks.  In 1995 he was the U.S. representative and sole foreign civilian on the interim multinational cease-fire monitoring group deployed to the Peru-Ecuador border.  Prior to that he was the human rights and terrorism reporting officer in Peru; he also served as a political officer in Bolivia and Ecuador.  In Washington, Ambassador McFarland has served as Nicaragua desk officer, director of Cuban Affairs, and director of Stability Operations training at the Foreign Service Institute.  He began his career as a vice-consul in Maracaibo, Venezuela.  He has received several Department awards and one inter-agency award.  In 2010 he was named an Honorary Messenger of the Indigenous Mayoralty (K’iche’) of Santo Tomas de Chichicastenango, Guatemala.  He is a graduate of Yale University and the Air War College; he also attended the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (junior). 

A Texan who grew up in the Foreign Service in Latin America and the Middle East, he speaks native Spanish, some Guarani and limited K’iche,’ and is currently studying Dari.  He is married and has four children.  His outside interests are playing soccer, hiking, diving, and archeology.

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