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: Federal Republic of Somalia
CANDIDATE: Donald Y. Yamamoto
Donald Y. Yamamoto, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, is currently Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs. He was Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs from September 2017 to January 2018 in accordance with the Vacancies Reform Act. Mr. Yamamoto is one of the Department’s foremost Africa specialists. During 38 years in the Foreign Service, he has served multiple tours in Africa, including as U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia (2006-2009) and to Djibouti (2000-2003). Mr. Yamamoto’s extensive policy background, deep regional knowledge, and seasoned leadership and management skills make him an excellent candidate for U.S. Ambassador to Somalia.
Mr. Yamamoto also served the State Department as Senior Vice President, National Defense University (2016-2017), Chargé d’ Affaires, U.S. Mission Mogadishu, Somalia (2016) and Senior Advisor to the Director General, Bureau of Human Resources (2015-2016). From 2014-2015 in Afghanistan, he was Assistant Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Kabul, U.S. Consul General, Mazar al Shariff and Third Infantry Division Advisor, Bagram Air Base. He served as Associate Dean, School of Leadership, Foreign Service Institute, Arlington, Virginia (2013-2014), Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs (2013), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs (2009-2013), Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs (2003-2006), Deputy Director/Acting Director, Office of East Africa (1998-2000), Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d’ Affaires, U.S. Embassy Asmara, Eritrea (1996-1998) and Principal Officer, U.S. Consulate Fukuoka, Japan (1992-1995). He was a Congressional Fellow in the Office of Senator Daniel Akaka and served in the Operations Officer and at Missions in Beijing, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi.
Mr. Yamamoto earned an A.B. and M.A from Columbia University and a M.S. from the National War College. He is the recipient of 22 awards from the State Department, including the Robert Frasure Memorial Award, a Presidential Distinguished Honor Award, a Presidential Distinguished Service Award and a Secretary of State Distinguished Honor Award. Mr. Yamamoto speaks Japanese, Chinese and French.