HomePoliticsBiden nominates former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew as ambassador to Israel

Biden nominates former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew as ambassador to Israel

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has nominated former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, the White House announced Tuesday.

Lew, who served as White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration, would succeed Ambassador Tom Nides, who left the post in July. Lew also served as director of the OMB during the Clinton administration.

If confirmed by the Senate, Lew will become one of the top US ambassadorships, with the Biden administration urging Israel and Saudi Arabia — two of the Middle East’s biggest powers but longtime rivals — normalize their relationship.

The effort to strengthen that historically fraught relationship comes after the Trump administration helped facilitate the “Abraham Accords,” which normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

A normalization deal with Saudi Arabia, the most powerful and wealthiest Arab state, has the potential to reshape the region and strengthen Israel’s position in important ways. But brokering such an agreement is a tough call, as the kingdom has said it will not officially recognize Israel until a solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict is found.

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Lew is currently a managing partner at Lindsay Goldberg, a private equity firm, and a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York.

He also currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Library of Israel, USA, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Lew also previously served as managing director and chief operating officer for two business units of Citigroup. He was executive vice president and chief operating officer of New York University and a professor of public administration at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

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