Biden to tap ‘pro-Israel’ banker for ambassador

Nides has “a real pro-Israeli sensibility,” said a friend.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate a prominent banker and longtime “pro-Israel voice” for U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the Washington Post reported.

Thomas Nides, who currently serves as vice chairman of finance titan Morgan Stanley, previously served as a State Department senior official under former president Obama.

A Democratic party insider, Nides was slated to become Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff had she won the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Nides, who is Jewish, is said to have been an advocate for Israel during the Obama administration, when tensions between the U.S. and Israel were strained.

Aaron David Miller, a friend of Nides and a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, praised Biden for his expected decision.

Miller told Jewish Insider that Nides has “a real pro-Israeli sensibility, but also I think is capable of the kind of detachment that is critically important to finding the balance in the U.S. – Israel relationship between protecting Israel’s interests and protecting ours.”

Ambassadorial appointments often serve as rewards to friends and donors to the sitting president.

David Cohen, a Comcast executive who hosted Biden’s first major fundraising event, and Denise Bauer, who ran a women’s network raising money for Biden, are expected to be appointed to ambassadorial positions in Canada and France.

Nides, on the other hand, has plenty of Capitol Hill experience under his belt and the political know-how to make a difference, Miller said.

“[He’s] a very smart, politically well-connected individual with plenty of government experience,” Miller told Jewish Insider.

“Nides, to me, represents the perfect choice…he’s savvy and I think he’ll make a great ambassador.”

A native of Minnesota, Nides is married to CNN senior executive Virginia Carpenter Moseley.

For his service in the State Department during the Obama administration, he was awarded the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award by Hillary Clinton in January 2013.