William Perry Stedman Jr., a retired Foreign Service officer and former U.S ambassador, died on March 25, 2018, at the age of 95. He lived in Bethesda, Maryland.
A native of Maryland, “Bill” Stedman received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 1943, then served overseas as a commissioned U.S. Navy officer from 1943 to 1946. A year later, he earned his master’s degree from the School for Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Stedman entered the Foreign Service in 1947 and was posted to Buenos Aires as a consular officer. He was transferred to San José as an economic officer three years later. He served as a consular officer in Stuttgart from 1953 to 1956.
After a two-year assignment as an intelligence analyst at the Department of State, in 1958 he was seconded to the International Cooperation Administration, a U.S. Agency for International Development precursor. He worked as an assistant program officer in the ICA mission in Guatemala from 1959 to 1961. He was the financial officer in Mexico City from 1961 to 1963. At State from 1963 to 1966, he served as the Guatemala desk officer and later as the deputy director of the Office of Regional Economic Policy in the former Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. In 1966, Mr. Stedman was assigned to Lima as counselor for economic affairs and deputy director of the USAID mission. He returned to the State in 1968 to direct the Office of Ecuadorian and Peruvian Affairs. May 2018. Two years later, he became director of the Office of Andean-Pacific Affairs. He was detailed to the first Senior Seminar for the 1970-1971 academic year. He served as the director of the Office of Argentine-Paraguayan/Uruguayan Affairs from 1971 to 1973. In 1973, President Nixon nominated Mr. Stedman to be the U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia. He served in La Paz until 1977, when he was appointed as a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. He retired several years later.
Ambassador Stedman accepted an offer to be the Senior Policy Advisor of the Fellowship in the International Development Program of Partners of the Americas. He established and led the interagency Senior Seminar Alumni Association and the Ford Latin American Group, both of which met regularly at DACOR Bacon House. He was twice elected to the Board of Governors and was a member of the Finance and Budget Committee. Ambassador Stedman was awarded the Foreign Service Cup, “
Ambassador Stedman leaves his children, Diana Stedman Donaldson, James Boardman Stedman and Lawrence Christopher Stedman, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Janet A. Stedman, died several years earlier.