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Tamara Wittes Nominated for USAID Middle East Post
Tamara Cofman Wittes speaks on a panel about the global refugee crisis at the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, on Feb. 5, 2016. (Paul Morigi via Flickr)

Tamara Wittes Nominated for USAID Middle East Post

Tamara Cofman Wittes has been nominated by US President Joe Biden to serve as assistant administrator for the Middle East at the US Agency for International Development. The White House officially submitted Wittes’ nomination to the US Senate on Thursday. Also nominated on Thursday was Thomas Nides, to serve as US ambassador to Israel.

Wittes, 51, is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where she focuses on US Middle East policy. Prior to joining Brookings in 2003, she was a Middle East specialist at the US Institute of Peace and director of programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington. She was a deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs under former President Barack Obama. Wittes was one of the first recipients of the Rabin-Peres Peace Award, established by former President Bill Clinton in 1997.

Wittes is known as an advocate for women’s leadership in government and has decried gender inequality in public forums.

She will be responsible for overseeing USAID’s programming in the Middle East. She will also be in charge of implementing a new international fund to facilitate joint economic ventures and promote dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

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