Donald Y. Yamamoto

Photo of Donald Y. Yamamoto
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs
Term of Appointment: 09/2017 to present

Ambassador Donald Yamamoto returned to the Bureau of African Affairs as the Acting Assistant Secretary on Sept. 5, 2017. He previously served as the Senior Vice President at the National Defense University from 2016-2017; Senior Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service on personnel reform from 2015-2016; as Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission Somalia office in Mogadishu in 2016; and in senior positions in Kabul, Mazar e-Sharif, and Bagram, Afghanistan from 2014-2015. He was the Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs in 2013 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2009-2013. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 2006-2009 and to Djibouti, 2000-2003. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2003-2006. He was also Human Rights Officer during the Tiananmen Square Crisis in 1989 and served in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He holds the rank of Career Minister.

Ambassador Yamamoto entered the Foreign Service in 1980, serving primarily in Africa, with assignments in the Middle East and Asia. He received a Master’s Degree from the National War College in 1996 and worked on Capitol Hill on a Congressional Fellowship in 1991.

Ambassador Yamamoto graduated from Columbia College and received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. He is the recipient of a Presidential Distinguished Service Award, Presidential Meritorious Service Award, Secretary’s Distinguished Honor Award, over a dozen Senior Performance Awards, the 2006 Robert Frasure Memorial Award for advancing conflict resolution in Africa, and numerous other awards.