Biden appoints Eric Kneedler as US ambassador to Kenya after McCarter’s exit

Eric Kneedler
Eric Kneedler, the new US Ambassador to Kenya. [Photo: Courtesy]

Barely a day after US President Joe Biden was sworn into office, he appointed a new US ambassador to Kenya, Eric Kneedler.

Biden was sworn in on Wednesday as America’s 46th President.

Kneedler announced via Twitter of his appointment as the US ambassador to Kenya. He pledged to steer matters matters of common interest between the US and Kenya such as health, education and trade.

“Vipi waKenya! I’m Eric Kneedler, starting tonight I’ll be Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, @USEmbassyKenya. Let’s continue to engage on matters #USKEPartnership and build on our over 55 years of friendship on security, health, education, trade and so much more!” Kneedler tweeted.

Kneedler, born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania made the announcement hours after former US ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter exited the scene following Biden’s swearing in.

McCarter had been appointed by former US President Donald Trump’s administration.

Kneedler has been described by the US Embassy in Kenya office as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service who previously served as Deputy Chief of mission at the U.S embassy in Nairobi from April 2019 until January 2021.

In 2017, he served as the Counselor for Political affairs for the US Embassy in Nairobi.

He served under a similar position in Manila and the Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

“Eric has also served as the Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Manila and the Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.  Previous assignments include tours in Jakarta, Port Louis, Hong Kong, the State Department’s Operations Center, and the Bureau of European Affairs,” the US Embassy in Nairobi states.

Kneedler is a master’s graduate in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and also holds an arts degree from Pomona College.

His appointment comes as Biden embarks on the daunting task of lifting travel bans imposed on Muslim-majority and a section of African countries by Trump’s administration.

This was part of a dozen Executive Orders that he signed off moments after taking office officially.