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: Republic of Bulgaria
CANDIDATE: Kenneth Merten
Kenneth Merten is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister. He recently served as Chargé d’affaires, a.i., of the U.S Embassy in Haiti. Previously he was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Global Talent Management and prior to that he was a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Mr. Merten has also served as Ambassador to Croatia, Ambassador to Haiti, and as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State. His previous Ambassadorial assignments have demonstrated his leadership ability, policy acumen and operational effectiveness. Those skills, when coupled with his broad substantive experience in European affairs, makes him a well-qualified candidate to serve as Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria.
Among his other assignments, Mr. Merten was the Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy Paris, France, the Executive Assistant in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and a Senior Watch Officer in the State Department’s Operation Center. Earlier positions included assignments to Haiti, the U.S. Mission to the European Union, and as the Special Assistant to the Secretary’s Advisor on Haiti. He also worked as the desk officer for Cuba, and as the Environment, Science and Technology Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Germany.
Mr. Merten earned his B.A. degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and his M.A. degree from American University, Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Grande Croix of Honor from the government of Haiti for Earthquake support, the Ryan Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy, and the CORE Shandling Humanitarian Award. He speaks Haitian Creole, French, German and Spanish.