Stephen Banks commenced his assignment as deputy chief of mission in Asmara, Eritrea in September 2018. He has been a Foreign Service officer since September 1996. His previous assignment was in Pristina, Kosovo from 2016-2018 as political and economic counselor. Before that he was the deputy director for South Central Europe in the Department of State, 2013-2015. From 2010-2013, he was a member of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, where he led the U.S. inter-agency negotiating team on UN peacekeeping policy, as well as coordinating UN Security Council negotiations on Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia. In 2009-2010, he served in Iraq, first as the team leader for the multi-agency Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (ePRT) in Fallujah, Anbar, and then as team leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) for Maysan Province. Previous U.S. Embassy assignments have included Georgetown, Guyana; Sofia, Bulgaria; and Yerevan, Armenia. His other Washington assignments included the State Department’s 24-hour Operations Center and serving as country desk officer for Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. Before joining the Foreign Service, he worked as an international trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce, and served eight years as a reservist in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He is married to Lauren Geetter.