Eric Kneedler on Wedneday assumed responsibility as th US ambassador to Kenya in interim capacity following the resignation of Kyle McCarter.
In a tweet reposted by McCarter, Mr Kneedler announced his new role on the same day that Joe Biden officially became the 46th President of the United States.
“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!” the new ambassador tweeted shortly after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the US,” he tweeted.
According to the US embassy in Kenya, Eric Kneedler began his assignment as the Counselor for Political Affairs at the embassy in Nairobi in August 2017.
Until his appointment, he served as the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission.
“A career member of the Foreign Service with 20 years of experience, he has served in Hong Kong, Mauritius, the State Department’s Operations Center, the Bureau of European Affairs, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. He speaks French, Indonesian, Thai, and some Cantonese, ” reads his bio posted on the US government’s website.
Kneedler holds a B.A from Pomona College and an M.A. in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
He is married with two children.
McCarter was appointed to the position by the now Former President Donald Trump but had to subdue resistance from Democratic Senators during his vetting who put him on the spot for a tweet he posted on election day in November 2016 calling for Hillary Clinton’s arrest.
The Democratic Party Senators also held reservations over McCarter’s religion informed voting record on gay rights.
McCarter, a Republican and a former Illinois Senator was a political appointee to the position and with a new administration coming in, he opted to resign in advance with the tradition being that new presidents clear political appointees from ambassadorial positions shortly after they assume office.