Former State Department official Thomas Nides is all but certain to be the Biden administration’s next ambassador to Israel after the other contender in the running, former congressman Robert Wexler, was notified by a congressional ally of the president this afternoon that he would not be the pick, an ex-US official tells The Times of Israel.
A source familiar with the matter also confirmed that Wexler had been notified that the job would not be his.
Nides had been seen as the initial favorite for the position, but Wexler enjoyed a jolt of support in recent weeks from several lawmakers who reached out to Biden on his behalf, including Congressman Ted Deutch and Senator Bernie Sanders.
Nides, for his part, has close ties with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and former president Barak Obama.
Both he and Wexler have familiarity with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Wexler particularly so, as he is currently serving as the head of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington.
Nides served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources in the Obama administration before becoming a managing director at Morgan Stanley.
Born in 1961 to a Jewish family in Duluth, Minnesota, Nides is a banking executive and if indeed picked, would bring both government and private-sector experience to the post.
He is the managing director and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley and has served in multiple financial institutions, including Credit Suisse and Burson-Marsteller.