Senate Confirms Thomas Nides as New US Ambassador to Israel
The US Senate confirmed Thomas Nides as the new US ambassador to Israel in an early Thursday morning voice vote. The approval comes after a long nomination process, and a day after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, blocked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from fast-tracking the confirmation process using the unanimous consent vote.
The United States has not had an ambassador in Israel for the last 10 months, since David Friedman stepped down at the end of former President Donald Trump’s term in office. Former Jerusalem consul general Michael Ratney has served as interim chargé d’affaires since June, the same month that Nides was nominated to the ambassador’s post.
Nides served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources under former US President Barack Obama. He was chief of staff for the majority whip of the US House of Representatives, Tony Coelho, D-Calif., from 1986 to 1989, and then chief of staff for House Speaker Thomas Foley until 1993. He also was chief of staff for US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor. He served as campaign manager for Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman in 2000.
During his tenure in the Obama administration, Nides worked as part of the team that led to the Obama administration’s approval of a $38 million, 10-year loan guarantee package for Israel. He also worked to thwart an effort by some lawmakers to limit US support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and for UNESCO.
Nides became managing director and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley in March 2013, after previously serving as its COO from 2005 to 2010.