UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: State of Kuwait
CANDIDATE: Karen Hideko Sasahara
Karen Hideko Sasahara, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Africa. Prior to that she served as Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. Before Amman, she was Consul General in Jerusalem, Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, on the Foreign Service Board of Examiners, Deputy Chief of Mission in Sana’a, Yemen, and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commanding General of Special Operations Command Central. Earlier assignments include Baghdad, Beirut, Mexico City, London, Jeddah, and Washington, D.C. Sasahara’s deep and substantive background in Near Eastern affairs, proficiency in Arabic, and demonstrated ability to lead large interagency teams, coupled with thirty-five years of Foreign Service experience make her a well-qualified candidate for Ambassador to Kuwait.
Sasahara is the recipient of numerous State Department performance awards, including five Senior Foreign Service Performance Awards. A native of Massachusetts, she holds an M.A. in Near East Studies from the George Washington University, and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She speaks Arabic, Spanish, French and Russian.