Telephonic Press Briefing: Acting Assistant Secretary Don Yamamoto on Secretary Tillerson's March 6-13 Visit to Africa.

March 5, 2018

Date: 02/23/2015 Description: seal © State seal

Africa Regional Media Hub

United States Department of State

March 5, 2018

Telephonic Press Briefing: Acting Assistant Secretary Don Yamamoto on Secretary Tillerson’s March 6-13 Visit to Africa.


At the November 2017 African Ministerial hosted at the State Department by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he announced his intention to travel to Africa in the first quarter of 2018. Please join us on Monday, March 5 at 07:00 EST (12:00 UTC) for a telephonic press briefing with the Senior Bureau Official from the Bureau of African Affairs, Ambassador Don Yamamoto, who will provide an overview of the key issues that the Secretary will address on his visit to Africa.

As previewed in the March 1 Media Advisory, Secretary Rex Tillerson will travel to N’Djamena, Chad; Djibouti, Djibouti; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Nairobi, Kenya; and Abuja, Nigeria, March 6-13, 2018.

Secretary Tillerson will meet with leadership in each country, as well as the leadership of the African Union Commission based in Addis Ababa, to further our partnerships with the governments and people of Africa. In particular, he plans to discuss ways we can work with our partners to counter terrorism, advance peace and security, promote good governance, and spur mutually beneficial trade and investment.

During his trip, he will also meet with U.S. Embassy personnel and participate in events related to U.S. government-supported activities.


During the briefing, Senior Bureau Official Ambassador Yamamoto will provide a brief overview of the Secretary’s goals and policy priorities for the visit, and the State Department’s Africa strategy in general. He will then take your questions.


Speaker: Acting Assistant Secretary Don Yamamoto

Date: Monday, March 05, 2018

Time: 07:00 ET/12:00 UTC
* Please use Time Zone Converter to determine the start time of the event in your time zone.

Language: English. French and Portuguese interpretation will be offered.

Ground rules: On the record

Dial-in Info: To be provided once you RSVP

RSVP: RSVP to Please specify English/French/Portuguese line, or request that we dial out to you (provide the phone number and language to be used).

Twitter: Follow the conversation at #SecStateInAfrica for the call. Follow us on @AsstSecStateAF and @AfricaMediaHub.


  • Callers should dial in to the conference call 10-15 minutes early.
  • When an individual journalist dials in, the operator will collect the caller’s name, press affiliation, and location.
  • The moderator will facilitate the Q and A among the connected callers. Journalists on the conference call will be instructed to press the “*” and “1” buttons on their phones in order to enter the question queue. NOTE: You can press “*1” at any time during the call to join the question queue, even before the moderator begins the Q and A portion. We ask that journalists limit themselves to one question. Journalists can also submit questions in English to prior to or during the call.


Date: 09/05/2017 Description: Donald Y. Yamamoto - State Dept ImageAmbassador Donald 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.