REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
CANDIDATE: Cynthia Kierscht
Cynthia Kierscht, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Office of Canadian Affairs in the same bureau. In Africa, Ms. Kierscht served at the U.S. Embassies in Rabat, Morocco as Deputy Political Counselor, in Cairo, Egypt as a Political Officer, and as a Political Officer in the newly established U.S. Interests Section in Tripoli, Libya after intensive Arabic language training. Ms. Kierscht also worked as a Regional Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Counterterrorism in the State Department. Her direct experience working in African nations where Islam is the predominant faith, her Arabic and French language skills, and her familiarity with programs to counter violent extremism will all be valuable tools in Mauritania. When coupled with her demonstrated leadership and policy experience in multiple regions, and her successful service working in political, management, public affairs, and consular assignments for the State Department, Ms. Kierscht is an excellent candidate to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Among her other assignments, Ms. Kierscht served at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota where she held positions as Deputy Management Counselor, Cultural Affairs Officer, and as Coordinator for the Summit of the Americas. She was also a Post Management Officer for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Desk Officer for Algeria, and served as a Line Officer on the Secretariat Staff and Watch Officer in the State Department Operations Center.
Ms. Kierscht earned her B.A. degree from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota and her M.P.P. from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. She is the recipient of numerous State Department awards. Her foreign languages are Arabic, French and Spanish.