Jack Lew, former U.S. Treasury secretary, listens at a panel discussion during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, D.C., April 19, 2018.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden nominated former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Tuesday to serve as ambassador to Israel.
Lew, 68, served as treasury secretary between 2013 and 2017. He was also the White House budget director and later chief of staff during the Obama administration and budget director during the Clinton administration. He will succeed Tom Nides, who departed the post in July.
Lew’s experience, and his Orthodox Judaism, should ease the Senate confirmation process. After decades in Washington, this will be Lew’s first international post.
Lew’s nomination comes during a period of strained relations between the U.S. and Israel after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul this summer, a move that led to months of protests.
Biden has called the plan to take power away from the courts “divisive” but has stressed that his administration will continue to be an ally to the country.
It also comes as the Biden administration seeks to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.