New US ambassador to Kenya Margaret ‘Meg’ Whitman has jetted into the country to assume office. Her arrival was confirmed by the US Embassy to Kenya in a tweet on Monday. “Welcome to Kenya Ambassador Whitman!” read the post that was accompanied by a photo of Ms. Whitman being welcomed at the US Embassy by outgoing Chargé d’Affaires Eric Kneedler.
Ms Whitman was endorsed by the US Senate two weeks ago, more than seven months after President Joe Biden had nominated her to head the US Mission in Nairobi.
The 65-year-old billionaire succeeds Ambassador Kyle McCarter and becomes the second US female envoy to Kenya since Prudence Bushnell’s appointment in 1999.
Meg Whitman was confirmed in a unanimous vote by the U.S. Senate as the eighteenth United States Ambassador to Kenya on July 14, 2022. Ambassador Whitman 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.
Ms. 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.
Ambassador Whitman is married to Dr. Griffith Harsh, a neurosurgeon. They have two grown sons and two grandchildren.
Whitman holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Economics from Princeton University.
As is tradition, the US is expected to join other Western allies in observing the Kenya elections. But Ms Whitman is also arriving amid complaints of visa delays at the embassy in Nairobi. Some applicants for student visas have had to wait for up to six months for appointments.