update deskMiddle East

Dan Shapiro to lead US efforts to integrate Israel regionally

The former U.S. ambassador to Israel was tapped, as the person who holds that portfolio was nominated to be ambassador to Jordan.

Dan Shapiro in 2017. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Dan Shapiro in 2017. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

The U.S. State Department tapped Dan Shapiro, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, on June 29 to become its new senior adviser for regional integration.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the new role on Twitter, stating that Shapiro “will support U.S. efforts to advance a more peaceful and interconnected region, deepen and broaden the Abraham Accords and build the Negev Forum.”

The position will be housed in the State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs bureau. 

Shapiro was reportedly Blinken’s favorite for the job. In recent months, the Biden administration has been making a diplomatic push to convince Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel.

Yael Lempert, who holds the State Department’s Abraham Accords and Negev Forum portfolios, is U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Jordan, which is why Blinken was considering Shapiro, per Axios reporting.

Former President Barack Obama nominated Shapiro in 2011 to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel. He held that position until 2017, when David Friedman, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, succeeded him.

In August 2021, Biden brought Shapiro in for a part-time role as senior adviser to Robert Malley, the U.S. envoy for Iran.

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