Donald Yamamoto currently serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, a position he previously held from August 2009 to March 29, 2013.
Donald Yamamoto's prior assignments included serving as the Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, March 30, 2013 to August 6, 2013. He has also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from November 2006 to July 2009 and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2003 to 2006, where he was responsible for coordinating U. S. policy toward over 20 countries in east and central Africa. He served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti from 2000 to 2003 and was the Deputy Director for East African Affairs from 1998 to 2000.
Ambassador Yamamoto entered the Foreign Service in 1980. Former assignments include U.S. Embassy Beijing as Ambassador's staff aide and human rights officer during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989; Japan as principal officer of the Fukuoka consulate; and Eritrea as Charge d'Affaires at U.S. Embassy Asmara in the Horn of Africa. He attended the National War College in 1996 for senior training and received a Congressional Fellowship in 1991.
Ambassador Yamamoto is a graduate of Columbia College and did graduate studies at Columbia University, receiving a master's degree in international affairs. He has studied Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and French. During his Foreign Service career, he has received four individual Superior Honor awards, two group awards, and the 2006 Robert Frasure Memorial Award for advancing conflict resolution in Africa.