Ambassador Muthaura has been described as a premier administrator, a diplomat, a tough negotiator, a champion of regional integration, a reformer and a visionary leader, but at all times he has been and has lived his life in the mold of a consummate civil servant.
He began his career in the public service in 1972 when he joined central government as a District Officer in the coast region after graduating from the University of Nairobi. His keen intellect and broader national and international vision saw him pursuing admission to the foreign service when he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1973 and was promptly posted to the country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations based at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA at the height of the tensions of the cold war. This initial exposure to international diplomacy at its highest level would instill in him the passion for international diplomacy and lay the foundations for a career that would eventually see him champion the interests of the nation as Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, the Ambassador to the European Union and ultimately the founding Secretary General of the East African Community.
His first 4 year diplomatic tour of duty at the United Nations in New York, included participation in the negotiations which lead to the establishment of the UN Habitat in Nairobi and his initiation of a resolution which lead to the holding of a UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy in Nairobi in 1981. Thereafter, the Ambassador’s talents in the field of multilateral negotiations prompted his posting to the Kenyan Embassy to the European Economic Community (EEC) and now the European Union (EU)) based in Brussels, the Capital of Europe, in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. These years constituted some of the most crucial in the expansion of the EEC and provided him with an opportunity to play a crucial role in the negotiations on behalf of the country in its dealings with the European member states through the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries.