WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated a downstate Senator to serve as ambassador to Kenya, citing the Southern Illinois lawmaker’s long history of charity to the African nation.
GOP Sen. Kyle McCarter of Lebanon was first nominated last year by Illinois’ Republican congressional delegation. McCarter, along with his parents, founded Each One Feed One International, which helps orphaned and abandoned children, and also provides medical treatment for those with HIV and malaria.
McCarter and his wife Victoria lived and worked in Kenya for a year beginning in 1987 to help build a medical clinic and resumed their work with the charity in 2011, which they have continued.
In the congressional nomination letter, congressmen wrote of McCarter’s “extensive history in Kenya,” with experience negotiating with tribal chiefs and other dignitaries; experience working with USAID and other organizations and “heightened insight into the governmental operations and other political, economic and social realities of both Kenya and the larger region of East Africa.”
McCarter and his wife both are conversational in Swahili, the official language of Kenya.
McCarter calls the nomination an honor and says he looks forward to bringing about a closer relationship that will benefit both nations. McCarter chose to not run for reelection to his Senate seat this year.