US President Joe Biden this evening (Tuesday) officially announced his intention to appoint Tom Nides as the US Ambassador to Israel – as reported in Walla !. The appointment has yet to pass U.S. Senate approval. It is estimated that the appointment will be approved without issue, but the procedure may take between two and three months.
Last month Walla! Because Niles, the former U.S. deputy secretary of state, is the almost certain candidate for the job, according to a source involved in the details. Former Congressman Robert Wexler was until recently another leading candidate for the position and even won the support of many members of Congress and Jewish organizations, but did not win the appointment in the end as Biden leaned in the direction of Nyds.
Niles currently serves as CEO of Morgan Stanley Bank. He served as Deputy Secretary of State for Administration and Resources under former President Barack Obama. He is very close to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein and other close advisers to Biden.
In recent weeks, the Biden administration has been criticized by members of Congress and Middle East experts for not appointing a new ambassador to Israel and for not having a single senior diplomat on the ground. Since January, Biden has appointed four special envoys to Iran, Yemen, Libya and the Horn of Africa – but unlike his three predecessors, he has not appointed a special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.