Ambassador Stephen A. Seche

Former Executive Vice President

Ambassador Stephen A. Seche is the former executive vice president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

He spent 35 years as a career U.S. Foreign Service officer. From 2011-13, Seche served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, with responsibility for U.S. relations with the Gulf Arab states and Yemen. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Yemen from 2007-10.

During the 2006-07 academic year, Seche was a visiting fellow at the University of Southern California, where he taught public diplomacy in the master’s degree program. On his return from Yemen, he spent a year at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, leading a graduate seminar in the School of Foreign Service.

From February 2005 to August 2006, Seche served as charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria; he was deputy of chief of mission for the six months prior. This was his second tour in Damascus. From 1999 to 2002, Seche was the counselor for public affairs and the director of the American Cultural Center. He spent the two years between his Damascus assignments as director of the Office for Egypt and Levant Affairs at the Department of State in Washington, DC.

Seche spent the first seven years of his Foreign Service career in public diplomacy positions in Guatemala, Peru, and Bolivia. Other overseas assignments have included Ottawa, Canada and New Delhi, India. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and spent four years as a journalist before entering the Foreign Service.

He is married to Susan Canning; the couple has three daughters.

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U.S. Political Transition Weighs Heavily on Yemen Peace Process

Critics worry that the Trump administration’s threat to designate the Houthis as terrorists would also undermine humanitarian efforts, while President-elect Biden is expected to return to more robust diplomacy.

Roundtable With Elliott Abrams, Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela, U.S. Department of State

Abrams discussed his role and priorities as he endeavors to build international support for the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign.

Roundtable With Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen 

Griffiths provided his unique insights into the U.N.-led effort to bring the principal combatants to a negotiated ceasefire and move the country toward a sustained, political solution.

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Two Pillars of Yemeni Peace Efforts Near Collapse as Saudis Search for an Exit Door

The specter of a Saudi withdrawal from Yemen is prompting parties to the conflict to shore up their positions, further destabilizing the country.

The Conflict in Yemen in its Sixth Year

On March 30, AGSIW hosted a briefing discussing salient issues and developments in the conflict in Yemen as it enters its sixth year.

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U.S.-Iranian Tensions: Yemen

Ambassador Stephen A. Seche assesses the prospects for an end to the conflict in Yemen, in light of U.S.-Iranian tensions.

2020 Vision: AGSIW Assesses Threats and Opportunities in the Gulf

On January 8, AGSIW hosted a conversation considering the trends likely to shape the Gulf region in 2020.

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Yemen’s Fragile Peace Efforts at Risk as Regional Tensions Spike

As Iran contemplates its response to the killing of Major General Qassim Suleimani, it will likely look to an asymmetric response employing resources in the region, such as the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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Prospects for Negotiations and a United Yemen

Ambassador Stephen A. Seche sat down with Mohammed Abulahoum from Yemen's Justice and Building Party to discuss the potential for a resolution to the conflict and a unified Yemeni state.

Discussion With Mohammed Abulahoum

Abulahoum discussed the November 5 power-sharing agreement between the U.N.-recognized Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the pro-secession Southern Transitional Council.

Yemen at a Crossroads: Are New Conflict Dynamics Reshaping the Country’s Future?

AGSIW hosted a discussion on recent developments in Yemen's war and issues central to the future of the country.

Roundtable With Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment

Ahead of his participation at the United Nations 2019 Climate Action Summit, Al Zeyoudi discussed the various climate challenges facing the UAE and the region.

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International and Internal U.S. Debates Refocus Spotlight on Yemen’s Conflict

The ongoing conflict in Yemen is inching toward the center of important debates for the United States, but international attention is unlikely to have any material impact on the conduct of the war.

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U.N. Mediation Effort in Yemen at a Crossroads

The U.N. special envoy to Yemen announced that the principal parties to the conflict are now prepared to implement key provisions of the Stockholm Agreement. Is this a done deal, or just one more false start for a process that is now the object of growing skepticism?

UAE Security Forum 2018: "Yemen after the War: Addressing the Challenges of Peace and Reconstruction"

For the third consecutive year, AGSIW convened the UAE Security Forum, where U.S., UAE, and regional partners gather to find creative solutions to some of the region’s most pressing challenges.

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The Geoeconomics of Reconstruction in Yemen

The conflict in Yemen has exacted a disastrous toll on the country. This paper considers the outside forces in the conflict, seeking to elucidate who they are, what the nature is of their involvement, and what their converging and conflicting interests mean for reconstruction.

Gulf Dynamics after the JCPOA

On May 8, President Donald J. Trump reimposed the full range of economic sanctions on Iran that were waived when the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was implemented in 2015 and said the United States was "withdrawing" from the agreement.

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U.S. Senate Becomes the Newest Front in Yemen’s War

Given the military stalemate on the ground in Yemen, it may be that the next meaningful battle in that war is about to be fought on the floor of the U.S.

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Aden Conflict Not the Only Yemen News Worth Following

A simmering conflict between separatists in Southern Yemen and Aden-based elements of Yemen’s exiled government spilled out into the open in late January.

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Analysis: Saleh's Death Deeply Complicates Efforts to Resolve Yemen War

The death of Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, will create an enormous vacuum in the country’s political life — one that is unlikely to be filled easily or quickly by anyone else.

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Can Saleh’s Death End Yemen’s “Equilibrium of Misery”?

It would be no small irony if, in death, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh advances the cause of peace in his impoverished homeland far more than he ever seemed interested in doing during the final years of his life.

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Yemen: The View from Riyadh

Meetings in Riyadh with senior Yemeni and Saudi officials offered little hope that the war in Yemen is anywhere near its end.

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Shaping the South: The UAE in Yemen

As the contours of the United Arab Emirates’ ambitious agenda in southern Yemen continue to become more evident, so do the differences between the UAE and the government of Yemen’s exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

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The World's Forgotten War

Hopes that an end to Yemen’s punishing civil war might be within reach were briefly ignited last month.

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Yemen at a Crossroads: End the War or Watch It Metastasize

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ignited hopes again this week that Yemen’s protracted war may come to a negotiated end, when he announced upon arriving in Abu Dhabi that both the armed Houthi insurgency and the Saudi-led military coalition have agreed to a cessation of hostilities to begin November 17.

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The Iran Nuclear Deal is Working for Both Sides, So Why All the Complaints?

Gulf Arab states must be breathing a collective sigh of relief over the acrimony that continues to characterize U.S.-Iran relations a year after the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka, the Iran nuclear deal.

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Yemen’s Destruction is One Cost of the U.S.-Saudi Alliance

Blink twice, and Yemen’s all-but-forgotten war — news of which is buried under grim headlines about Syria and terrorism and Middle East migrants — will be into its second year.

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Hopes for End of Yemen's Conflict Turn to Geneva

Six months after the last attempt to bring the warring parties in Yemen to the negotiating table collapsed before the talks even began, a new round is scheduled to begin in Geneva, perhaps as early as December 15.

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Concerns about Iran go beyond nuclear deal

Congress returns from summer recess next week, bringing with it enough votes in the Senate to ensure President Obama a win on the nuclear deal with Iran, his signature foreign-policy achievement.

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Saudi Air Strikes in Yemen: When the Medium Is Not the Message

Along with the dozens of airstrikes Saudi Arabia has launched into Yemen since the start of its so-called “Operation Decisive Storm” a week ago, it also is delivering some very clear political messages.