- He becomes the 19th full-time US Ambassador to Tanzania, succeeding Bradley Childress who stepped down four years ago
Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli yesterday accepted the credentials of the new United States Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Donald J. Wright.
Apart from Dr Wright, President Magufuli also received credentials of the Vietenamese ambassador to Tanzania, Nguyen Nam Tien.
Dr Wright becomes the 19th full-time United States Ambassador to the United Republic, succeeding Mr Mark Bradley Childress who stepped down on his own volition on October 25, 2016.
Since then, the US has been represented by Chargé d’Affaires Immi Patterson who ended her tour of duty in June, this year.
Ms Patterson’s departure came almost four weeks after Tanzania’s ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned her after the US Embassy issued travel advisory saying Tanzania’s Covid-19 situation was ‘alarming.’
At a ceremony to present credentials yesterday at State House in Dar es Salaam, the new envoy Dr Tien said he was looking forward to working with Tanzania to strengthen bilateral relations on health, security, governance, and education.
He said that he first came to the East African country Tanzania 33 years ago.
That was during his the early days of medical career when he worked as a volunteer for the Save the Children Hospital.
“That was the time I developed a healthy respect and admiration for Tanzanian people…
“I found them to be warm, generous and generally cheerful and to treat a stranger like members of their own family,” he said.
He said he was glad to return to the country after 33 years and that the reception that he has received reflects the same warmness that he witnessed 33 years ago.
The United States of America sees the United Republic of Tanzania as a steady and stable democratic country - and that the former (the United States) wants strong bilateral relations with the latter (Tanzania).
Tanzania’s minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, said yesterday that two years ago, the United States issued a total of $682 million in support of Tanzania’s health sector, including tackling malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids.
“So far, $450 million has already been spent,” the minister said.
“Last year, Tanzania received a top up of $55.2 million from the United States in support of the aforementioned sectors,” he revealed, further noting that the coming of the new United States ambassador to the United Republic would further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Tanzania exported goods worth Sh119 billion to the United States last year.
Data from the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) put the United States on the list of Tanzania’s top three sources of foreign direct investment in the country.
Investors from the United States - world’s largest economy by many standards - have injected a total of $4.7 billion into 3,179 development projects that have created 550,000 jobs.
The new ambassador was formally sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania in Washington D.C. on April 2, 2020.
He has been a leader in public health and health policy both domestically and internationally for the last seventeen years, including service at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Labor, and the United Nations.
Prior to being named Ambassador to Tanzania, Ambassador Wright served as the acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the US Government’s principal health agency. He also directed the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and the Office of
Occupational Medicine (OSHA). In addition, he served as the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition (PCSFN.)
Prior to entering government service, Dr. Wright spent nearly two decades as practicing physician in his home state of Texas, focusing on family medicine and occupational health. He is joined in Tanzania by his wife Kathy.