update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Dan Shapiro reportedly named to top Pentagon Middle East role

Shapiro was U.S. ambassador to Israel from 2011 to 2017 and currently serves as senior adviser at the U.S. State Department.

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

The U.S. Department of Defense named Dan Shapiro, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, on Monday as the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East affairs, according to Lara Seligman, who covers the Pentagon for Politico.

There did not yet appear to be any official confirmation of the announcement, either from the Pentagon or from Shapiro. Seligman did not state publicly what her source was.

Shapiro, who is currently senior advisor for regional integration in the U.S. State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs bureau, will assume the Pentagon’s top Middle East policy role, according to Seligman.

In his new role, Shapiro reportedly replaces Dana Stroul, who completed a three-year term in the position, in which she guided “the development of U.S. Department of Defense policy and strategy for Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen,” per the Pentagon.

Shapiro “has many years of experience and a good understanding of regional realities,” wrote Gerald Steinberg, founder of NGO Monitor. “Wishing him success.”

The position at the State Department that Shapiro is reportedly vacating is, under the new National Defense Authorization Act, being upgraded to a Senate-confirmed, presidential envoy for the Abraham Accords at the ambassadorial rank.

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