The development has been confirmed by the US Embassy in Kigali.
Appointed by President Joe Biden in August 2022, Kneedler will succeed Peter Vrooman, who was previously posted to Mozambique.
In March 2023, during an exchange with the U.S. Commission on Foreign Affairs, Kneedler had announced that upon his arrival in Rwanda, his top priority would be to champion freedom of expression.
He emphasized the importance of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law in US policy towards Rwanda.
Kneedler is one of the most distinguished US diplomats. His most recent assignment was as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya where he also acted as Chargé d’Affaires, from 2021-2022.
Earlier, Kneedler was the Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy in Nairobi and before that he served in the same role at the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines.
Previously, he served as the Deputy Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and as a Political Officer at the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
His demonstrated leadership ability as Deputy and Chargé d’Affaires in Nairobi, coupled with his over two decades of service as a career diplomat, make Kneedler a well-qualified candidate for Ambassador to Rwanda.
Among his other assignments, Kneedler was a Staff Assistant in the Bureau of European Affairs, a Senior Watch Officer in the State Department’s Operations Center, and he also held positions at the US Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius and the US Consulate in Hong Kong.
Kneedler earned his Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, and his Master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is the recipient of numerous State Department performance awards. His foreign languages include Thai, Indonesian, French, Cantonese and Italian.