alexa Counter-terror chief may replace Gration - Daily Nation

Counter-terror chief may replace Gration

Thursday August 23 2012

Former US ambassador Maj Gen Jonathan Scott Gration

Former US ambassador Maj Gen Jonathan Scott Gration 

By KEVIN J KELLEY [email protected] in New York

A counter-terrorism official is said to have been chosen to be the acting US ambassador to Kenya.

Mr Robert F. Godec, currently the US  principal deputy coordinator for counter-terrorism, was recently named charge d’affaires at the Nairobi post, sources indicate.

A permanent ambassador will be nominated after the US elections in November.

The appointment of Mr Godec has not been officially announced. He previously worked as an economic counsellor at the US embassy in Nairobi for four years.

Sources say Mr Godec is being asked to concentrate on preparations for Kenya’s elections next March.

He will temporarily replace retired Maj-Gen Scott Gration, who ended his brief tenure in April in anticipation of release of a State Department report that is highly critical of his performance.

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Mr Gration, who was once a confidant of President Obama, resigned from his post in June citing “differences in leadership styles and priorities with Washington”.

The resignation came at a critical moment when Kenya is in Somalia fighting Al-Shabaab and has elections in March.

When he served in Tunisia, Mr Godec was shown through secret diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks to have been unsympathetic to the dictatorial regime of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

Mr Godec has also held diplomatic positions in South Africa, Thailand and Burma. He  played an important role in the transition of policy and operations among authorities in Iraq following the US invasion in 2003.