Officially In: Scott Gration to Nairobi

Special Envoy for Sudan Scott Gration provides...Image via WikipediaOn February 10, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Scott Gration  to be Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya. The WH released the following brief bio:

Major General Scott Gration, USAF (Ret) is currently the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan.  He was appointed to the position on March 18, 2009. Previously he was at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel.  General Gration served in the United States Air Force from 1974 to 2006. After retiring, General Gration served as the CEO of Millennium Villages, an organization dedicated to reducing extreme poverty. He then joined the Safe Water Network where he helped to provide potable water to vulnerable populations in India, Bangladesh, and Ghana.  His staff positions in the Air Force included tours in the Pentagon, NATO, and a White House Fellowship. From June 2004 to October 2006, he served as Director of the Strategy, Plans, and Policy Directorate of United States European Command. In August 2003, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs. From January to June 2003, he commanded Joint Task Force-West during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2000-2002, General Gration served at the Pentagon, first as the Joint Staff Deputy Director for Operations and then as Director of Regional Affairs for the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs. During his early years in the Air Force, General Gration served as an F-5 and F-16 instructor pilot, including a two-year assignment with the Kenyan Air Force.

General Gration speaks Swahili and has an M.A. from Georgetown University in National Security Studies and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University.

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It is not often that you see political appointees at the US Mission in Kenya. If confirmed, General Gration would be the 7th political ambassador and 15th chief of mission to Nairobi.  He would replaced career diplomat, Michael Ranneberger who has been in Nairobi since June 28, 2006.

The USG has appointed fourteen ambassadors to Kenya since it established an embassy in Nairobi on December 12, 1963. Of that, six had been political appointees with journalist and author, Smith Hempstone, as the most recent one, appointed ambassador by George H. W. Bush in 1989.

Former ambassadors to the US Embassy in Nairobi include Johnnie Carson, the current Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs, and  Prudence Bushnell, who was the chief of mission during the embassy bombing in 1998.

Related item:

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | February 10, 2011

Related posts:

Special Envoy Gration Makes Splash on Sudan | Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Officially In: J. Scott Gration, US Special Envoy for Sudan | Mar 20, 2009