Phee sworn in replacing Godec to lead State Africa Bureau; Biden’s team can now address policy for Kenyan election

The Elephant published my last post on September 10 as “Amb. Godec is Well Placed to Articulate US Policy for Kenya’s 2022 Polls“.

120522-F-GA223-001
DIRE DAWA, Ethiopia (May 22, 2012) Rear Admiral Michael Franken, left, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, Kumsa Baysa, principal of Gende Gerada Primary School, Molly Phee, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, Egei Wabere, an Gende Gerada Kebele education coordinator, and Stephen Fitzpatrick, program coordinator for U.S. Agency for International Development gather for a school building dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for a new school house and two latrines at the Gende Gerada Primary School. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens/Released)

This week the Senate worked through a few confirmations for State Department positions, including Amb. Molly Phee as Amb. Godec’s “permanent” successor as acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.  She was sworn in last evening.

In the meantime, preparations for Kenya’s polls, just more than ten months away, continue to lag.

Assistant Secretary Phee, although most of her foreign service career has been spent in other contexts, has recent regional experience as Ambassador to South Sudan 2015-17 and Deputy Chief of Mission to Ethiopia in 2011-14.  She was serving as Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy for South Sudan when nominated to replace Susan Page to become the second Ambassador to South Sudan.

The Elephant also published my “9/11 and the United States-Kenya Relationship“.  See also Paul Tiyambe Zeleza’s longread from the next week, “9/11: The Day That Changed America and the World Order