REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: Republic of Niger
CANDIDATE: Eric P. Whitaker
Eric P. Whitaker, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, is currently Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Department of State, a position he assumed in early 2017. A two-time Deputy Chief of Mission, his diplomatic career has been diverse, including consular, economic, commercial, political, and refugee assignments, as well as service in ten African countries. Mr. Whitaker was the first Foreign Service Officer to be the First Lady’s guest at the State of the Union address. Known for his leadership, management skills, and interagency expertise working on security issues in red-zone Baghdad and Djibouti, as well as his deep knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa, he is an excellent candidate for U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Niger.
Previously, Mr. Whitaker served as Director, East African Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs, State Department (2015-present), Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy N’Djamena, Chad (2013-2015), Foreign Policy Advisor, Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa, Africom, Djibouti (2012-2013), Economic Counselor, American Embassy Nairobi, Kenya (2010-2012), and Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy Niamey, Niger (2008-2010). He was an Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team Leader, American Embassy Baghdad, Iraq (2007-2008), Political/Economic Counselor, American Embassy Khartoum, Sudan (2005-2007), Trade Policy Officer, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, State Department (2003-2005), Economic/Political Chief, American Embassy Maputo, Mozambique (2000-2002), Political/Economic Officer, American Embassy Bamako, Mali (1997-1999), and Economic/Commercial Officer, American Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1994-1997). Mr. Whitaker also served at U.S. Embassies in Sudan, Uganda, Croatia and South Korea. He was Assistant to the City Manager in Lodi, California and a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines.
Mr. Whitaker earned a M.P.P. from Princeton University, a M.P.A from the University of Pittsburgh, and a M.S. and B.S. from the University of Illinois, Champaign. He is the recipient of 13 State Department awards, including the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, Visayan, and Korean.