Former U.S. State Department official Thomas R. Nides is likely going to be nominated by the Biden administration to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Nides, an executive at Morgan Stanley, previously served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources from 2011 to 2013. As part of that role, he established several working relationships with Israeli officials and played a role in helping the Obama administration’s approval of extensions on loan guarantees for Israel.
While he was seen as a pro-Israel voice in the Obama administration, he also did work to thwart efforts by Congress to limit U.S. support for UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Biden administration recently announced that it would restore funding for UNRWA that had been cut by the Trump administration.
Additionally, as deputy secretary of state for management, Nides testified before the House and Senate committees in December 2012 about the failure of the infamous attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was supposed to appear before both of the committees but canceled her appearance due to illness and a concussion. During his testimony, Nides admitted to the State Department’s mistakes on Benghazi when the Obama administration refused to extract its CIA annex from a deadly attack by the local Ansar al-Sharia terror group. A gunfight with US forces ensued which resulted in the deaths of both US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.
In his Senate testimony, Nides conceded to his department’s mistakes on Benghazi.
Nides was born in 1961 in Duluth, Minn., to a Jewish family. If nominated and approved by the Senate, he would replace former ambassador David Friedman, who left in January at the conclusion of the Trump administration.
Biden donor Michael Adler had sought the position, but instead is expected to be named as ambassador to Belgium, according to the report.
Other Jewish Democrats were also expected to be given ambassador roles, including former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who will be tapped to be the next ambassador to Japan; Comcast executive David Cohen, expected to be the ambassador to Canada; and Mark Gitenstein, a former ambassador to Romania, who is likely to become ambassador to the European Union.
Israel365 News contributed to this report.