It is a pleasure to welcome Ambassador Godec once again before the Committee, in this case as the President’s nominee to be Ambassador to Kenya. His stewardship as Chargé over the last several months comes at a very challenging time for our large and important East Africa embassy. He has brought deft and experienced management to Nairobi and effectively sustained our varied interests and priorities with Kenyans and the Kenyan government at a critical time. Among the most important interests is United States support for a free and fair electoral process leading up to national elections in 2013, the first since the abhorrent violence that followed the 2007 elections.
United States interests extend broadly in East Africa and recognize the commitment Kenya has made in Somalia under the AMISOM umbrella, as well as its long support for regional peace initiatives. Kenya also has been a key counter-terrorism partner in a variety of areas that are of mutual concern with broad global potential for impact. These include Kenyan efforts fighting Al Shabab and building its own counter-terror capabilities in maritime and border security. Our extensive cooperation extends to providing a regional platform for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Center for Disease Control in securing biological materials that pose a threat to millions if (more…)