UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of
Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service
Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: Republic of Djibouti
CANDIDATE: Cynthia Kierscht
Cynthia Kierscht, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister Counselor, currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Prior to that, Ambassador Kierscht was Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and earlier 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 twice 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 demonstrated leadership and policy experience in multiple regions, makes Ms. Kierscht a well-qualified candidate to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti.
Among her other assignments, Ms. Kierscht served at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota where she held such positions as Deputy Management Counselor, Cultural Affairs Officer, and 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.