News: US Senate confirms Biden’s pick for Ethiopia ambassador

Ambassador Ervin Jose Massinga. Photo: State Department

Addis Abeba – The US Senate has confirmed career diplomat Ervin Jose Massinga as Ambassador to Ethiopia via voice vote held on 27 July.

Ambassador Ervin will be the first Ambassador to be appointed and subsequently be confirmed as US ambassador to Ethiopia after the early exit of Ambassador Geeta Pasi in February 2021 before serving one year in her tenure as ambassador.

Her early departure was marked by a period when the diplomatic relation between the US and Ethiopia was at its lowest due to the war in the Tigray region, which the Biden administration pushed to end to the displeasure of the Ethiopian government.

The US embassy in Addis Abeba, one of the largest US missions in Africa, has since been represented by Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson, who is serving as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

Ambassador Massinga was nominated by President Joe Biden as the next ambassador to Ethiopia in January this year. Since then, hearings on his nomination were held before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 16 May and his nomination was “favorably reported by the committee” on June 01 before he was confirmed by the full US Senate via voice vote on 27 July.

Ambassador Massinga, described as “a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor”, was serving as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs when he was nominated by President Biden in January. Serving as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, and of the U.S. Embassy, Conakry, Guinea, were among his his Africa portfolio as a career diplomat.

“His extensive experience in senior leadership positions, his demonstrated success in leading interagency teams, and his broad exposure to the global engagement of the U.S. government combine to make him an excellent candidate to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Ethiopia,” the statement nominating him for the position reads. AS

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