A former diplomat in the Obama administration is set to become US President Joe Biden’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israel and Palestinian Affairs, sources familiar with the move have said.
Hady Amr has accepted the role, and he has informed friends and family of the decision, sources told Al Arabiya English.
Amr’s bio page on the Washington-based Brookings Institution says that he is “currently serving in the Biden administration as deputy assistant of state for Israeli-Palestinian affairs.”
The Bureau welcomes newly appointed Deputy Assistant Secretaries Hady Amr and Dan Benaim, as well as Senior Advisor Asha Castleberry-Hernandez to our team. Their regional and policy expertise will play an important role in advancing America’s mission in the Middle East.— U.S. State Dept - Near Eastern Affairs (@StateDept_NEA) January 28, 2021
An official announcement was made Thursday by the State Department.
The sources said that Biden would not appoint a special envoy specifically for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Amr was former President Barack Obama’s deputy special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations for Economics and Gaza.
With his experience and close ties to the Palestinian leadership, he is expected to restore some of the lost trust in Washington during the Trump administration.
The Biden administration has already reversed several decisions made by the previous White House administration, viewed as heavily biased toward Israel.
Biden officials have announced that the US will restore ties with the Palestinian leadership, reopen the Palestine Liberation Organization's diplomatic mission in Washington, and renew aid to the UN agency that deals with Palestinian refugees around the world (UNRWA).
Palestinian officials welcomed the announcements on Wednesday.
Amr, born in Lebanon, is one of the multiple appointments of Arab-Americans made by Biden.
Appointed as the deputy-director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Reema Dodin, is of Palestinian descent. Dana Shubat, is now a senior legal affairs advisor to Biden. Her parents are Jordanian.
Separately, Biden has asked Maher Bitar to become a director for intelligence on the National Security Council. Bitar is also of Palestinian descent.
On the medical team, Biden previously appointed Dr. Bechara Choucair as the White House Vaccinations Coordinator. Choucair is of Lebanese descent.
It’s an honor to join @JoeBiden administration as White House COVID-19 Vaccinations Coordinator during this pivotal moment in the pandemic. I’m humbled to be part of the team working to ensure an efficient, equitable, and effective roll out. https://t.co/miiiST8HCj— Bechara Choucair (@choucair) December 30, 2020