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White House Withdraws Nomination of Ambassador to Somalia

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President Barack Obama addresses an event with entrepreneurs from across the United States and around the world to highlight the importance of investing in women and young entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions to some of the worlds challenges, including poverty, climate change, extremism, as well as access to education and healthcare at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2015. (PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama's choice of a career diplomat to the first U.S. ambassador to Somalia since 1991 withdrew her nomination from the Senate, the White House announced Monday.

Obama sent the nomination of Katherine Simonds Dhanani, of Florida, to the Senate in February.

Dhanani is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor.

An administration official told TheBlaze "she is withdrawing for personal reasons."

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The announcement comes a week after Secretary of State John Kerry met with leaders in Somalia.

Upon making the announcement in February, the State Department said: “This historic nomination signals the deepening relationship between the United States and Somalia. It also allows us to mark the progress of the Somali people toward emerging from decades of conflict.”

“Somalia has considerable work ahead to complete its transition to a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous nation,” the State Department continued. “The United States is committed to supporting Somalia on this journey as a steadfast partner. If confirmed, the ambassador will lead the U.S. Mission to Somalia, currently based at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. As security conditions permit, we look forward to increasing our diplomatic presence in Somalia and eventually reopening the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu.”

Dhanani’s career with the Statement Department included assignments with the bureau of Inter-American Affairs; consular officer at the embassy in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo; and the economic officer at the embassy in Georgetown, Guyana. She went on to serve in the Office of Mexican Affairs ad worked at the U.S. consulate in Hyderabad, India, among other assignments.

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