(photo credit: SAMEH SHERIF / AFP)
The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday formally announced the appointment of Mark Regev, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-time spokesman, as the next ambassador to London.
The move was expected after Regev, with Netanyahu’s support, put forward his candidacy earlier this month.
Regev will replace Daniel Taub.
The Australian-born Regev, who for years has been a regular fixture on English-language news programs around the world as an articulate and unflappable spokesman for Israel’s policies, came to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2007 from the Foreign Ministry.
He began at the PMO as a spokesman for then-prime minister Ehud Olmert, and remained in that job after Netanyahu was elected in 2009.
Since 2007 Regev has been “on loan” to the PMO from the Foreign Ministry, meaning that his appointment is a professional – not political – appointment.
The foreign minister position now also held by Netanyahu, is allowed a maximum of 11 political appointments.
He has used a number of them in recent weeks in appointing Dani Dayan to Brazil, Fiamma Nirenstein to Italy, and Danny Danon to the United Nations.
The Foreign Ministry’s appointments committee met and decided on the appointment on Monday.
Regev, who immigrated to Israel from Melbourne in 1982, has worked at the Foreign Ministry since 1990.
He has served in the past as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Hong Kong, as well as spokesman at the embassies in Beijing and Washington.
Upon returning from Washington in 2004, he served as the Foreign Ministry’s chief spokesman until he went to the PMO in 2007.
The Foreign Ministry also named the Zvi Vapni as ambassador to Slovakia, and Michael Brodsky as envoy to Kazakhstan. The following consul- general appointments were made: Amikam Levy to Shanghai; Lior Hayat to Miami; and Yael Hashavit to Bangalore.
Eli Ben-Tura, formerly ambassador to Senegal, was named as non-resident ambassador to Africa, and Yoram Elron was named as the deputy director-general for Africa.
The appointments now go to the full cabinet for approval, something generally considered a formality.