Peter G. Kaestner
Charge d'Affaires to Republic of Namibia

Peter G. Kaestner, Charge d'Affaires of Namibia, assumed charge upon the departure of Ambassador Ward in March 1999.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mr. Kaestner studied at Cornell University, where he received his B.A. in Biology in 1976. After graduation, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer secondary school teacher in Nyankunde Village in the former Zaire.

Since entering the Foreign Service in 1981, Mr. Kaestner has served a variety of positions around the world. After his first posting in New Delhi, Mr. Kaestner moved to Port Moresby. At the end of his assignment, he was sent to Honiara for a year to help mediate a fishing dispute. Upon returning to the U.S., he worked in the Computer Systems Liaison Office of the Bureau of Consular Affairs. In 1988, he returned overseas working in the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. In 1990, he was assigned as the Chief of the Consular Section in Kuala Lumpur. Following his assignment to Malaysia, Mr. Kaestner was seconded to the Michigan International Office in Lansing where he worked on international trade promotion. His last position before arriving in Namibia was as Deputy Director of the Office of Ecology and Terrestrial Conservation, where he worked on international environmental policy. He has received several awards, including commendations from the Drug Enforcement Administration and State of Michigan and the State Department's Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.

Mr. Kaestner speaks French and Spanish, with a smattering of Hindi, Swahili, Bahasa, Malaysia, and Melanesian Pidgin. He is active in educational issues, and presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Windhoek International School. An avid bird watcher, Mr. Kaestner is ranked in the top four world listers, and is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as having been the first person ever to see a representative of each of the 159 families of birds in the world. In 1989, he discovered a new species of bird, the Cundinamarca Antpitta (Grallaria kaestneri) in the mountains of Eastern Colombia.

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