Back to Officials


Name: Heycen, Mohamed Lemine El
Current Position: Ambassador

Appointed July 28, 2010, Mohamed Lemine Ould El Haycen presented his credentials to President Barack Obama as Mauritania’s ambassador to the United States on August 10, 2010.

Born in 1954 in Nouadhibou, Mauritania, El Haycen earned a degree at the University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne in 1980, submitting a thesis titled “Les problèmes de l’équilibre financier en Mauritanie” (Problems of financial equilibrium in Mauritania).
After studying journalism, he worked a s a lecturer at the University of Nouakchott from 1983 to 2000. He also earned a doctorate at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in Nice, France, studying under the Mauritanian scholar Raoul Caruba, who has served as an Honorary Consul for Mauritania since 1989. El Haycen wrote a dissertation entitled “La problématique de l'eau du fleuve Sénégal: solutions et perspectives de coopération et de développement entre les États riverains” (Problems of the water of the river Senegal: solutions and perspectives of cooperation and development between the bordering states) in 2000. Water use and conservation are important issues in countries such as Mauritania, whose geography is dominated by the Sahara Desert and the Sahel semi-arid region.
In Mauritania, Haycen worked for many years as a civil law notary, a far more skilled profession than the notary publics of the U.S. or other common law countries. In civil law countries like Mauritania, notaries are educated and licensed, and draft legal instruments for private parties and also provide legal advice. Haycen was president of the Chamber of Notaries of Mauritania from 2000 until 2006. He was also director of the fishing society (SNEF).
About a year after the August 2008 coup led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz against elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, El Haycen joined others in signing an open “Statement of Support” justifying the coup on grounds of presidential abuse of authority, corruption and cronyism, and also published a book on Mauritanian history, La Mauritanie et ses présidents, 1958 à 2008 (Mauritania and its Presidents, 1958 to 2008), in which he further criticized Abdallahi and praised Abdel Aziz. He was appointed ambassador to the U.S. the same year.   
He is married to Laaziza Houzali.
Bookmark and Share