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May 26, 2021 9:16 am

Thomas Nides Expected Pick for Ambassador to Israel

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Thomas R. Nides. Photo: US Department of State/Wikimedia Commons. – US President Joe Biden is expected to announce the nomination of Tom Nides as the next US ambassador to Israel in the coming weeks.

White House and other Biden officials told NBC News that Nides has been offered the position, but that the nomination is not final until it is announced.

Nides, an executive at Morgan Stanley, served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources from 2011 to 2013 in the Obama administration. He has long been talked about as a frontrunner for the position.

More recently, former Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) had also been considered a frontrunner for the position due to his knowledge of the issues and players, as well as serving as the president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C.

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The Times of Israel reported that Wexler was contacted by staff on Friday and was told he was no longer in the running.

Once announced, Nides would need to be confirmed by the Senate before taking office. He is not expected to face any major opposition.

Meanwhile, senior diplomat Michael Ratney will serve as an interim head of the US embassy in Jerusalem beginning next month.

Wexler told JTA that he had already called Nides to congratulate him on being selected.

As part of the Obama administration, Nides played a key role in the administration’s approval of an extension on loan guarantees worth billions of dollars for Israel.

He also led the push against Congress’s efforts to defund the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Agency for  Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA).

Nides was born in 1961 to Jewish parents in Duluth, Minn., and has extensive experience in government and the private sector. His father, Arnold Nides, was the founder of the finance company Nides Finance, as well as serving as president of the Duluth Jewish Federation and Temple Israel.

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