Clinton swears in Dan Shapiro as US Ambassador to Israel

US secretary of state says she has every confidence in Shapiro’s ability to represent America and the Obama Administration.

July 9, 2011 11:39
1 minute read.
Dan Shapiro

Dan Shapiro 311 [file]. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Dan Shapiro became the new US ambassador to Israel on Friday, in a celebratory swearing-in ceremony in Washington led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton expressed full confidence in Shapiro’s ability to represent the US and the Obama administration.

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“He will help write a new chapter in the enduring partnership between United States and Israel,” she said. “He is known rightly as a trusted partner and an honest interlocutor.”

Shapiro’s talent, insight, hard work and good humor made him a favorite in Washington, Clinton added.

Shapiro, born in 1969, has regularly traveled to Israel and worked closely with then-US Middle East envoy George Mitchell to try to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Shapiro first began working with Obama in 2007 when he coordinated Jewish outreach and advised his presidential campaign on Middle East issues.

He speaks fluent Hebrew and has been a major point man for the US Jewish community in the White House, as well as with Israeli and Palestinian officials.


Shapiro said that, for him, being the ambassador to Israel was more than a job or a cause: “It is a calling and a passion.”

During his first speech in the role, he said Obama had instructed him to make Israel’s security his top priority. “This we are doing by raising the remarkable cooperation and coordination between our militaries and our intelligence services to their highest levels ever,” he said.

Among the guests at the ceremony were the ambassadors of Israel, Turkey and Morocco, and former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi.

Shapiro spent his sophomore year in Israel, and then obtained a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in 1991 in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

In January 2009, he was appointed senior director for the Middle East and North Africa of the US National Security Council. Shapiro and his family are members of the Conservative Jewish Adas Israel Congregation in Washington.

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