It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Ambassador Steve McGann on May 25, 2023. Ambassador McGann was a distinguished diplomat, former ambassador, and BPIA board member. Our hearts are heavy as we reflect on the loss of a remarkable individual whose contributions and accomplishments will forever be etched in our memories.
Mr. Clarence Steven McGann was born in New York on June 28, 1951 to Clarence D. McGann and Evangeline Hutson. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree at Claremont McKenna College, he went on to study at Cornell University and then at Industrial College of the Armed Forces where he earned a Master’s of Science degree.
Ambassador McGann joined the Foreign Service in 1979 and became Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor (FE-MC). From 2008 to 2011, he served as the Ambassador of the United States to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu. Nominated by President George W. Bush, he assumed his duties in October 2008. He served as Chief of Mission (at interim) of the United States Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste; the Director of the Office for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs; Director for Asia and Near East in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; and served as South Asia Bureau Deputy Director for Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh; among other duties.
After retiring, he founded The Stevenson Group, a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm. He served as the President of the Association of Black Ambassadors (ABBA), and on multiple boards including, the Black Professionals in International Affairs (BPIA), as an Advisory Council member; the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC); the American College of National Security Leaders (ACNSL); the United Nations Association-National Capital Area (UNA-NCA); the Association of Black American Ambassadors (ABBA); and the Diplomats and Consular Officers Retired (DACOR). Additionally, he previously was the Deputy Commandant and International Affairs Adviser of the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University (NDU). He also served as the first
Vice Chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs at NDU.
Beyond Ambassador McGann’s diplomatic achievements and duties, he was a respected figure within our organization and an inspiration to many aspiring Black diplomats, embodying the values of integrity, diplomacy, and service. On behalf of BPIA, our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Bertra Bradford McGann, children, family, friends, and loved ones, who have lost a cherished presence in their lives.
May his memory continue to inspire us to strive for excellence.
Funeral and memorial arrangements are pending and will be shared as soon as they are finalized.