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Sterling Tilley

Program Director

Sterling David Tilley, Jr., a native of Baltimore, Maryland, is a retired Foreign Service Officer.

With over 30 years of experience in the areas of defense, national security, and international affairs, Sterling has served his country in a wide variety of roles. Before retiring, Sterling was the Acting Director in the Office of Technical Programs and Operations Policy in the Bureau of Counterterrorism. In this capacity, he managed a nine-person team on matters pertaining to strategic counterterrorism policy initiatives, Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), military time-sensitive crisis response activities, irregular warfare R&D and activities, coordination of Special Operations Forces at US Missions, and the management of five bilateral technical counterterrorism agreements.

Sterling joined the Foreign Service in March 2002 and served in the Republic of the Philippines, Paraguay, Iraq and Nigeria and has represented the United States in more than 20 countries during bilateral and multilateral events or meetings. In addition, he served as Deputy Team Leader for Countering WMD Interdiction and the Proliferation Security Initiative in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation; separately as the Press Team Chief/Spokesman in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation; as the Director of the Western Hemisphere in the Bureau of International Information Programs; the Afghanistan Advisor in the Bureau of Counterterrorism, and as the Political-Military Officer in the Office of Cuban Affairs.

Before joining the State Department, Sterling worked for a prominent defense contractor at the Pentagon, the U.S. Congress, and at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a decorated Persian Gulf War veteran. Sterling speaks Spanish and some Tagalog.

Sterling holds a Master’s of Arts Degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from Howard University and a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University.

Mr. Tilley has a lovely wife, Eurona, and three children, Arianna, Sterling, III and Olivia