Ex-Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew nominated to be next U.S. ambassador to Israel

Former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (pictured before the Senate in 2013) has been nominated to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Sept. 5 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Tuesday selected former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel.

The nomination comes at a time of elevated tension between the United States and Israel over recent domestic issues roiling that nation.

"Jacob J. Lew is managing partner of Lindsay Goldberg LLC and a visiting professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. Among the highlights of his long and distinguished career in public service, Lew served as Secretary of the Treasury for President Obama and had broad responsibilities for economic diplomacy," President Biden said in a press release Tuesday.

Lew was appointed to lead the Office of Management and Budget by President Bill Clinton in 1998 and later served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff.

"He currently chairs the board of the National the National Committee on United States-China Relations, is co-president of the board of the National Library of Israel USA and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations," Biden continued.

The appointment comes at a time when Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are at odds over judicial changes that have been proposed by Netanyahu. The proposed changes would greatly reduce the oversight capacity of Israeli courts.

The appointment also comes as the Biden administration is pushing for rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In order to take on the new role, Lew will need to be confirmed by the Senate.