Kenneth H. Merten

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Kenneth Merten
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Haiti Kenneth H. Merten.jpg
Special Coordinator for Haiti
Assumed office
August 17, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded byThomas C. Adams
United States Ambassador to Croatia
In office
October 30, 2012 – July 18, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJames Foley
Succeeded byJulieta Valls Noyes
United States Ambassador to Haiti
In office
August 25, 2009 – July 20, 2012
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJanet Sanderson
Succeeded byPamela White
Personal details
Born1961 (age 59–60)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Spouse(s)Susan Merten
Alma materMiami University

Kenneth H. Merten (born 1961) is an American diplomat and the current Haiti Special Coordinator as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.[1] He acted as Ambassador to Croatia from 2012 to 2015 and U.S. Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to 2012.


Early life[edit]

Merten was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but moved to Hudson, Ohio when he was twelve, and considers Hudson his home.[2]

He attended Hudson Junior High School and the Walsh Jesuit High School and credits a history teacher named Mark Massa with being influential in his choice of career.[2] Merten graduated from Walsh Jesuit in 1979, and went to Miami University, where he graduated from in 1983 with a BA in diplomacy and foreign affairs.[2] He has also studied at Aix-Marseille University, the University of Graz and the American University.[2][3]

Diplomatic career[edit]

In 1987, Merten joined the United States Foreign Service.[4] Since then, he has served both at Department of State facilities in Washington, DC and international assignments.[4] Prior to his appointment as ambassador to Haiti, his international experience consisted of assignments in Paris, Brussels and Bonn.[4] He also served in Haiti as vice consul and economic counselor between 1988 and 1990 and between 1998 and 2000 respectively.[2] In 2009, he was appointed to the position of ambassador to Haiti, and began his duties as such on 24 August 2009.[2][4] In 2012, he was appointed to the position of ambassador to Croatia and began his duties as such on 30 October 2012.[5]

As Haiti Special Coordinator during the 2015-2016 Haitian presidential election Merten traveled to Haiti and spoke about an upcoming verification commission report on fraud in the election, saying "We hope it is very, very quick and does not change the results of the election" in April 2016.[6][7] He was joined by other U.S. officials pushing for quickly accepted elections.

Honors and awards[edit]

In July 2012, President Michel Martelly of Haiti awarded Merten with the National Order of Honour and Merit to the rank of Grand Cross for his diplomatic excellence and all his works done for Haiti.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Susan Greenman Merten, with whom he has had two daughters, Caryl and Elisabeth.[2]


  1. ^ "Haiti Special Coordinator". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Kenneth Merten, U.S. ambassador to Haiti, calls Hudson, Ohio, his home". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Kenneth H. Merten, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, arrives in Port-au-Prince". US embassy in Port-au-Prince. 24 August 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c d "Kenneth H. Merten". US Department of State. Archived from the original on 30 August 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-22. Retrieved 2015-06-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Johnston, Jake. "Election Verification Results Expected this Weekend: What to Expect and What Comes Next?". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  7. ^ "Haiti Preps for Election Verification Through Continued U.S. Pressure". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  8. ^ Press, ed. (15 August 2015). "Haiti - Politic : Return of Kenneth H. Merten in Haiti". Haiti Libre. Retrieved 14 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Staff, ed. (22 July 2012). "Haiti's Michel Martelly Gives Award to Outgoing United States Ambassador". Caribbean Journal. Retrieved 14 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Kenneth H. Merten at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Verma
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs

Succeeded by
David Adams
Preceded by
Francisco Palmieri
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Western Hemisphere Affairs


Succeeded by
Julie J. Chung
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Janet Sanderson
United States Ambassador to Haiti
Succeeded by
Pamela White
Preceded by
James Foley
United States Ambassador to Croatia
Succeeded by
Julieta Valls Noyes
Preceded by
Thomas Adams
Special Coordinator for Haiti