Rep. Ted Deutch retires from Congress; to serve as CEO of AJC

In a farewell letter to constituents, he wrote: “Your support allowed me to be a loud, proud, and consistent advocate for a strong US-Israel strategic partnership."

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., votes to approve the second article of impeachment against President Donald Trump during a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Capitol Hill, in Washington. (photo credit: PATRICK SEMANSKY/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., votes to approve the second article of impeachment against President Donald Trump during a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Capitol Hill, in Washington.
(photo credit: PATRICK SEMANSKY/POOL VIA REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – Democratic Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism, retired from Congress on Friday. In February, he announced he would not seek re-election in November and would become the next CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

He has served in Congress since 2010.

In a farewell letter to constituents, he wrote: “Your support allowed me to be a loud, proud, and consistent advocate for a strong US-Israel strategic partnership, an unyielding voice against a nuclear Iran, and a staunch opponent of antisemitism in all its forms as a co-founder of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism.” 

“It is that collective purpose that inspired me to use my position as a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Middle East Subcommittee Chair to strengthen our nation's relationships in the international community,” Deutch wrote.

 REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL) speaks to the press on Capitol Hill. (credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS) REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL) speaks to the press on Capitol Hill. (credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS)

“Together, we bolstered our alliances and partnerships, advocated for robust foreign assistance and global health investments, and strengthened democratic development worldwide,” the letter reads.

“With your help, I was able to champion human rights where they are denied, from Caracas, to Havana, to Tehran, as well as advocate for American hostages and those wrongfully detained abroad—like our neighbor from Coral Springs, Bob Levinson—through the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act.”

“It has been the honor of my life to serve the South Florida community and the American people in Congress,” Deutch added.

Is this a turning point for AJC?

AJC announced in February that Deutch was unanimously selected by the organization’s 28-member Executive Council, the organization’s most senior lay body, “following an extensive national search for a successor to AJC CEO David Harris, who has led the organization since 1990.”

“Mr. Harris will remain AJC CEO until Rep. Deutch assumes the role, after which Mr. Harris will stay on as a consultant for one year to assist in a seamless transition,” AJC said in its announcement.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and collaborating with Congressman Ted Deutch for years,” said Harris. "Apart from being a mensch, he has demonstrated time and again his enduring commitment to the US-Israel relationship, the well-being of Jewish communities around the world, the fight against rising antisemitism from a multiplicity of sources, [and] the danger of a nuclear Iran," he added.