The 1991 graduate of Manchester High School doesn't speak a word of the official language of Pakistan. But that's where she asked to go when it came time to pick a new tour of duty as a regional security officer with the State Department.
"If there was ever another time to be in a post like Pakistan, this would be the most interesting and challenging time ever," Stansfield said in a telephone interview from her office in Peshawar, Pakistan. "If there's ever a time to be over here, it's now."
Some 30 miles from the Afghanistan border, Stansfield and 15 other Americans make up the consulate, one of three in the country.
It's Stansfield who's in charge of ensuring the contingent is safe, posting 24-hour guards on their apartments, in a country that can be dangerous for foreigners.
Through the cooperative efforts of Pakistani guards, which Stansfield supervises, and liaison work with the Pakistani police and military, the Americans and the consulate are kept safe, she says.
The fact she's a woman in a predominately Muslim and patriarchal country "shakes up" the common thinking, she says.
But in the three weeks Stansfield has held the position, she says, she hasn't felt seriously threatened.
"I've been in situations that have been really scary," she says. "You learn to deal with and to modify your life to being in constant" danger.
It's kind of like driving through a dangerous part of Hartford, Stansfield says. "You're cognizant it's a dangerous part of town," but there's no direct threat.
Stansfield learned to appreciate life abroad just after graduation from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., when she joined the Peace Corps and spent more than two years in Gabon, Africa.
After that stint, during which she worked as a health educator, Stansfield returned to the United States briefly before joining the Diplomatic Security Service, the law-enforcement branch of the State Department, in March 1999. That job allowed her to provide security for dignitaries such as Yasser Arafat.
A year later, she attended regional security officer school and put her skills to work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger. She left Niger in August and reported to Pakistan after a short visit to Manchester, where her parents, Jason and Amory, still live.
And while there may not be a brood of people in Pakistan relying on Stansfield for their safety, the level of danger in the country makes this assignment more difficult than those in Africa, she says.
Some 65 Americans and their families counted on Stansfield in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There were 30 Americans in Niger.
But given Pakistan's proximity to Afghanistan, where the United States and other countries are engaged in the war on terror, Stansfield says, the area is so dangerous her fiance is not allowed to be with her.
"Security is a big issue on everyone's mind," she says. "We have to be constantly aware."
That hasn't deterred her ambition.
"I clearly enjoy more than I ever thought living and working overseas," she says. "One of the best ways to be an American is to be an American outside of America."
She admits that sounds strange, but diplomats who are stationed overseas give people in other countries the opportunity to get to know Americans and learn about the country from a positive source.
"What a better way to be an American," she says.