U.S. President Joe Biden has appointed Palestinian American Maher Bitar to the role of senior director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council, according to a report in the political journalism site Politico.

Bitar served in the National Security Council under former President Barack Obama, as director for Israeli and Palestinian affairs.

He earned his master’s degree at Oxford University, writing his dissertation on forced migration at the school’s Refugee Studies Center. He has worked with the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees in Jerusalem.

Since 2017, Bitar served as general counsel for Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee. As top legal adviser for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), he was deeply involved in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

As senior director for intelligence programs, Bitar will receive sensitive information from intelligence agencies and coordinate covert operations between the intelligence communities and the White House. The office of the senior director also houses the server that stores the most sensitive classified information.

Speaking to Politico, Schiff called Bitar “a superb choice,” saying, “I can’t think of anyone more suited to the role.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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