Karen Sasahara nominated for US ambassador to Kuwait

Diplomat has spent majority of Foreign Service career in the Middle East

Karen Sasahara recently ended her term as deputy assistant secretary of state for North Africa. Reuters
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President Joe Biden has nominated Karen Sasahara as US ambassador to Kuwait, the White House announced on Friday.

The position has been vacant since March 24.

Ms Sasahara, a career member of the Foreign Service, recently ended her term as deputy assistant secretary of state for North Africa, a position she had held since 2020.

Before that, Ms Sasahara served as the chargé d'affaires ad interim in Amman from March 2019 to August 2020, when Henry Wooster was confirmed as the US ambassador to Jordan.

She previously served as the general consul in Jerusalem until the US consulate there was closed down in 2019.

After receiving a degree in Near East Studies from George Washington University, she spent the majority of her Foreign Service career at the State Department in positions related to the Middle East.

She has held an array of diplomatic posts in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Beirut and Yemen, as well as in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and Mexico City.

James Holtsnider has been serving in the position in Kuwait on an interim basis.

Diplomat Alina Romanowski previously served as ambassador to Kuwait under the Donald Trump administration from 2020 to 2022.

She is married to Michael Ratney, Mr Biden's nominee for ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

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Updated: August 19, 2022, 9:13 PM