By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. July 22, 2021: A former U.S. ambassador to Zambia who was recalled in 2019 after dispute with Zambian government over gay rights and corruption, has been named as the Special Envoy for Haiti.
Ambassador Daniel Foote was named to the post according to U.S. Department Spokesperson, Ned Price, this morning. The Joe Biden ambassador had been under pressure from some members of the Black Congressional Caucus to name a special envoy on Haiti.
Ambassador Foote, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will “engage with Haitian and international partners to facilitate long-term peace and stability and support efforts to hold free and fair presidential and legislative elections.”
He will also work with partners to coordinate assistance efforts in several areas, including humanitarian, security, and investigative assistance, the State Department statement said.
Foote, along with the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, will lead U.S. diplomatic efforts and coordinate the effort of U.S. federal agencies in Haiti from Washington, advise the Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and coordinate closely with the National Security Council staff on the administration’s efforts to support the Haitian people and Haiti’s democratic institutions in the aftermath of the tragic assassination of Jovenel Moïse.
“Additionally, the Special Envoy will engage stakeholders in civil society and the private sector as we pursue Haitian-led solutions to the many pressing challenges facing Haiti,” the statement added.
Foote was deputy chief of mission in the Dominican Republic, he also served as chargé d’affaires in both Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Santo Domingo.
Foote is a native of Syracuse, New York and graduated from Williamsville East High School in 1981. He attended Columbia University, where he was a member of the school’s football and track and field teams and graduated with a B.A. in economics.
Foote began his career as a natural gas trader and broker. In 1992, he became a Peace Corps volunteer in Sopachuy, Bolivia. He later taught high school Spanish and coached football and track in Northern California.
In 1998, Foote joined the United States Department of State. He held positions at the State Department Operations Center, in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, at the U.S. Embassy in London, and in the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico. He was part of the reconstruction team in Erbil, Iraq, was a management officer and political/economic chief in the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg and was a management counsellor at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires.
Foote also completed postings at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and as leader of the provincial reconstruction team in the Maysan Governorate. He went on to lead the activities of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in Colombia. At the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Foote served as coordinating director, managing U.S. civilian foreign assistance and law enforcement activities in the country. In 2015, he took a role in Washington, D.C., at the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In 2017 he was named ambassador to Zambia. In December 2019, Foote publicly said he was “horrified” by Zambia’s jailing of same-sex couple Japhet Chataba and Steven Samba.
After an appeal failed and the couple were sentenced to 15 years in prison, Foote asked the Zambian government to review both the case and the country’s anti-homosexuality laws.
The ambassador faced a backlash and cancelled public appearances after he was threatened on social media and was subsequently recalled after President Edgar Lungu declared him persona non grata. He was subsequently recalled by the Donald Trump administration, a decision that was heavily criticised by other members of the diplomatic corp.