Ms. Stephanie T. Williams

Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission

11 March 2020 - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the designation of Stephanie Turco Williams of the United States as his Acting Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).


Ms. Williams will act as Special Representative in Libya until the appointment of a successor for Ghassan Salamé of Lebanon.  The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Salamé for his accomplishments at the helm of UNSMIL, and his tireless efforts to bring peace and stability back to Libya. Ms. Williams brings more than 24 years of experience in Government and International Affairs. 


She has served as Deputy Special Representative (Political) in UNSMIL since 2018.  Prior to her appointment, she served as Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. at the United States Embassy in Tripoli (Libya External Office).  She has held various positions, including as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Missions in Iraq (2016-2017), Jordan (2013-2015) and Bahrain (2010-2013), where she led the Embassy as Chargé d’Affaires for 10 months. 


Ms. Williams also served as a Senior Adviser on Syria and at the U.S. Embassies in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Pakistan.  At the United States Department of State, Ms. Williams has served as the Jordan Desk Officer, the Deputy Director of Egypt and Levant Affairs, and the Director of the Maghreb Office.  She previously worked in the private sector in Bahrain. Ms. Williams holds a master’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. 


She is a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College, where she earned a master’s degree in National Security Studies in 2008.  She is a career Middle East specialist and an Arabic speaker.

Mr. Yacoub El Hillo 

 Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of UNSMIL andUN Resident Coordinator & Humanitarian Coordinator 


In June 2019, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Yacoub El Hillo of Sudan as his Deputy Special Representative at UNSMIL and United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya. He will assume his new responsibilities in early September 2019.

In early May 2018, Yacoub was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Liberia. He led the United Nations efforts following the successful completion of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). From August 2016 to April 2018, Yacoub served as Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the UNMIL Peace Consolidation Pillar, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Liberia. He was at the rank of Assistant-Secretary General.

From August 2013 to August 2016, he served as United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Syria, based in Damascus. He was at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General.

Prior to his assignment in Syria, Yacoub was the Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, a position he held from November 2010 to August 2013.  He served as UNHCR Regional Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2009-2010); UNHCR Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania (2006-2009); Deputy Reconstruction and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI - Baghdad 2005-2006); UNHCR Chief of Mission in Iraq (2003-2005); Senior International Partnerships Officer, working with the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP - New York 2002-2003); Chef de Cabinet at UNHCR Headquarters (2001-2002), and Executive Assistant to the Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (1999-2001).

Yacoub also served in a number of other positions since joining the United Nations in 1989, working in his native Sudan (1989-1991), Kenya (1991-1993), Somalia (1993-1994), United Republic of Tanzania (1994-1996) and Liberia (1996-1999). 

Born in 1963, Yacoub graduated from the University of Khartoum with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in 1986.