Scores of smiling faces, warm handshakes, and upbeat jazz tunes officially welcomed Teddy Taylor to Cape Town during his welcome reception as the new U.S. Consul General on November 5. Taylor, who most recently served as the Diplomat in Residence at Howard University in Washington, D.C., is a career foreign service officer who has been posted around the world, from Latin America to Europe to Asia. This is his first posting on the continent of Africa. From 2009-2012, Taylor served as U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, and prior to that he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State. Consul General Taylor has a love for people and brings a lifetime of experiences to the job.
In one of his first official outings in Cape Town, Taylor accompanied U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield to Robben Island and to a meeting with participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) exchange program. He said, “Both experiences taught me a lot about South Africa’s past and future. I am excited to be in such a dynamic city that honors its heritage and is filled with young people excited about the future. The young leaders I have met here so far tell you what’s on their minds. They don’t mince words. I like that.”
Another reason Taylor is so excited about being in Cape Town is his love for jazz. He respects the rich jazz heritage of South Africa and the vibrant music scene alive in the Mother City. “Jazz brings people together. For decades, it has served as a basis for deepening cultural contact between our two countries. Jazz has American roots but has grown in unique ways around the world—and I can’t wait to hear more Cape Jazz in the venues where it was born.” When asked about his favorite artists, he answered, “Ellington, Basie, Davis, Hancock and Latin Jazz. But I can’t wait to learn more about South African jazz musicians.”
For more on Ambassador Taylor, you can read his biography here: http://goo.gl/hIUKO3