Joseph D. Stafford, III is a career Foreign Service Officer with the State Department, assigned as Charge' d' affaires, Khartoum, Sudan as of June 2012. He previously served as Consul General, Lagos, Nigeria, Anti-Corruption Coordinator in Baghdad, faculty of the National War College, Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia, Deputy Chief of Mission to Abidjan, Tunis, Algiers, and Nouakchott. He also served as the State Department's Deputy Director of Maghreb Affairs, and was the Political Analyst for the Arabian Peninsula in the State Department's Office of Intelligence and Research. His earlier assignments were to Algiers, Kuwait, Cairo, Palermo, and Tehran. He joined the Foreign Service in 1978.
He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). His foreign languages are Arabic, French, and Italian. He has received the State Department's Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards as well as the Award for Valor. He is married and has one son.