The challenges facing Haiti may be the most severe in the Western Hemisphere. The presidential elections have generated a particularly difficult set of issues for Haiti’s governability in the coming period, while recovery from the 2010 earthquake continues to proceed slowly. The support of the international community, and probably most importantly, the United States, will remain crucial to the country for many years into the future. Considering this complex outlook, the Inter-American Dialogue and the George Washington University are pleased to present the inaugural event of the University’s Haiti Policy Forum: A Conversation with the State Department’s Haiti Special Coordinator, Kenneth Merten.
Kenneth Merten has been serving as the Haiti special coordinator and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs since mid-August 2015. A two-time Ambassador, he was most recently the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, from 2012 to August 2015, and prior to that served as the United States Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to July 2012. In serving as Ambassador to Haiti, Merten oversaw the United States government’s on-the-ground efforts to provide immediate relief after the earthquake through a presence of 8,000 US military personnel as well as hundreds of other professionals drawn from many other US Government agencies including the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Haiti Special Coordinator and Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
US Department of State
Professor Robert Maguire
Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program
George Washington University
Senior Fellow and President Emeritus