By Arshad Mohammed and Samuel P. Jacobs - Reuters
WASHINGTON, Sept 12; As a mid-level U.S. diplomat, Chris Stevens dreamed up the idea of building bridges with Iran by having the United States extend greetings to the country on Nowruz, the Persian New Year. He took the plan to then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who quickly blessed it.c
In this photo posted on the U.S. Embassy Tripoli Facebook page on Aug. 12, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, right, talks to boys in Tripoli, Libya.
(AP Photo/U.S. Embassy Tripoli) (Anonymous)
"That was easy," Stevens told Albright, according to a State Department colleague knowledgeable about the conversation in the late 1990s.
"Yeah, not like most stuff in this building," replied Albright, who later turned to him for other ideas on easing tensions between the two nations.
Laconic, creative and charming, Stevens died on Tuesday when Islamist gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing the U.S. ambassador to Libya along with three other Americans.
Current and former colleagues describe Stevens, 52, as a man of decency and intelligence whose easy manner belied a serious mind and a yen for tough assignments.
In some ways, his career pinnacle may have been his assignment last year to Benghazi as the U.S. emissary to the Libyan rebels who brought down dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a job that led to his elevation to ambassador this May. Read more;