President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday 6th August received the credentials of incoming US Ambassador to Kenya Margaret Whitman at Statehouse Nairobi. This followed her Thursday senate confirmation after a long delay since her nomination by President Joe Biden in December last year to replace Kyle McCarter.
Speaking after presenting her credentials to President Kenyatta, Ambassador Whitman expressed optimism that Kenya will have a peaceful election and transition. “…I have no doubt Kenya will showcase for the world what free and fair election looks like and how peaceful transitions work,” the new envoy.
Amb. Whitman pledged to use her experience to increase bilateral trade and investment ties between the two countries, noting that Kenya is a dynamic economic engine and technology leader in East Africa.
“Before I left Washington, President Biden reminded me that one quarter of the world’s population will reside in Africa by 2050. Pointing to Kenya’s leadership on the continent and beyond, President Biden asked me to use every tool at my disposal to deepen ties between our great nations,” she said.
Born in 1956, Amb Margaret C. Whitman (Meg) a Republican who ran for Governor of California in 2010 becomes the first female US ambassador since after more than twenty years since Prudence Bushnell in 1999.
She is business executive worth US$ 3.4 billion dollars and is a Member of the Board of Procter & Gamble and General Motors, and National Board Chair at Teach for America. She is also a former CEO of Quibi, a streaming content platform for mobile devices, and a former President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the Hewlett Packard Company, eBay, and FTD, the US IT and online shopping platforms.
Whitman studied for a BA at Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard University and boasts numerous honours including being inducted into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame and the US Business Hall of Fame. Ambassador Whitman is married to Dr. Griffith Harsh, a neurosurgeon and both have two grown sons and two grandchildren.
According to her bio, Meg has held senior leadership positions at Hasbro, StrideRite Corporation and the Walt Disney Corporation, and she is a former partner at Bain and Co.
During the brief ceremony at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta also received credentials from incoming ambassadors Sebastian Groth of Germany, Kamal Gubara Mohamed of the Sudan and Bacha Debele Buta of Ethiopia. The new German Ambassador to Kenya said his country has been a close and committed partner of Kenya for decades and he is determined to develop that cooperation further.
Receiving the credentials from the new envoys, President Kenyatta assured them of his support as they embark on their tour of duty in the country. Present were Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo and Principal Secretary Amb. Macharia Kamau among others.