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Meg Whitman reports for duty as US envoy to Nairobi

New US ambassador Meg Whitman arrives in Nairobi on August 1, 2022. [US Embassy, Twitter]

Margaret Cushing Whitman, the new ambassador of the United States to Kenya has officially begun her duty in the Capital, Nairobi.

The embassy on its Twitter page said it had the pleasure to welcome the ambassador as she starts her assignments in Nairobi.

“Welcome to Kenya Ambassador Whitman!”, the embassy twitted.

Ambassador Meg Whitman as she is famously known arrived officially seven days ahead of the August 9 general election and will be the first US female ambassador to Kenya in more than two decades since Prudence Bushnell in 1999.

She was confirmed in a unanimous vote by the U.S Senate as the eighteenth envoy to Nairobi on July 14, 2022.

This is after she was nominated by President Joe Biden in December 2021. She takes over from Kyle McCarter whose term ended with former president Donald Trump’s administration.

Carter had become known for his controversial tweets against what he termed corruption in government.

Born on August 4, 1956, in New York, Meg Whitman has had several achievements which have catapulted her to the new role. She has significant experience leading business organizations, from start-ups to large multinational companies in Silicon Valley.

“She has served as the President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and the Hewlett-Packard Company, both multinational information technology companies. She also served as President and CEO of eBay Inc., an online marketplace and digital payments company.

Meg Whitman has also been a member of a number of corporate boards of directors, including Procter & Gamble and General Motors. Committed to equality in education and protection of the environment, Ambassador Whitman has been National Board Chair of Teach for America and has been a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy,” her bio states.

According to Forbes, Meg is best known for taking eBay from $5.7 million to $8 billion in sales as CEO from 1998 to 2008.

In June this year, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Trade Betty Maina launched a new US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP). The partnership listed eight priority areas to feature in future trade negotiations. Compared to Trump who wanted to negotiate a bilateral trade deal, Biden’s administration seems keen on supporting African regional economic integration.

Whitman holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Economics from Princeton University.

She will play a key role in advancing the partnership with the next government.