President Donald Trump has nominated Donald Yamamoto to be the new US ambassador to Somalia as the American leader aims to reduce the number of vacant ambassador positions.
Yamamoto is currently the acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs within the US State Department.
He was the US ambassador to Ethiopia from 2006 to 2009 and Djibouti from 2000 to 2003.
He previously served as the senior Vice president at the National Defense University from 2016-2017; senior advisor to the director general of the Foreign Service on personnel reform from 2015-2016; as charge d’Affaires at the US mission Somalia office in Mogadishu in 2016; and in senior positions in Kabul, Mazar e-Sharif, and Bagram, Afghanistan from 2014-2015.
Yamamoto holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.
In September last year, the US ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz resigned, citing personal reasons.
The US mission to Somalia is located in the American embassy in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Washington shut down its embassy in Mogadishu in 1991 after civil war erupted in the Horn of Africa country and armed groups overthrew the government of President Mohamed Siad Barre.
But the US has been growing its footprint in the Horn of Africa nation in recent years.
The Trump administration has granted the US military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al-Shabab.