Gration said in an emailed statement Friday that "differences with Washington regarding my leadership style and certain priorities lead me to believe that it’s now time to leave."
U.S. officials said the issue was Gration’s management style rather than U.S. policy on Kenya, which has become an important ally on counterterrorism and humanitarian relief issues in East Africa.
The State Department’s inspector-general has conducted an investigation of operations of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. His report, due next month, is expected to include some criticism of the ambassador.
Gration was an advisor to Obama on military issues during the 2008 presidential campaign. The son of missionaries and a former fighter pilot, Gration was named special envoy to Sudan during the early part of Obama’s term. He became ambassador to Kenya in April 2011.
U.S. ambassadors to Malta and Luxembourg have also given up their jobs following critical inspector-general reports within the last year.
-- Paul Richter
Photo: U.S. Ambassador to Kenya J. Scott Gration, left, speaks with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson at a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on June 10. Credit: Jason Straziuso/Associated Press