President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Thomas Nides, managing director and vice-chairman of Morgan Stanley and a former Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources under Secretary Hillary Clinton, his ambassador to Israel, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the choices (Biden to Nominate Thomas Nides as Envoy to Israel, Eric Garcetti as Ambassador to India).
According to NBC, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff and former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has been offered ambassadorship to Japan. Before the Biden inauguration, Emanuel was being considered for the post of transportation secretary, but progressive groups fought his nomination, claiming that as mayor he buried a video showing a Chicago policeman shooting a man 16 times.
Nides will be yet another Jewish ambassador to Israel, the son of Shirley and Arnold Nides from Duluth, Minnesota. His late father, who owned Nides Finance—a national consumer finance company, was president of the Duluth Temple Israel and the Duluth Jewish Federation.
Emanuel’s uncle, Emanuel Auerbach, was killed by Arab rioters in Jerusalem in 1933, and the family took his name as a way of commemorating him. Rahm Emanuel’s father, Benjamin, was born in Jerusalem and was a member of the Irgun during the British Mandate over Eretz Israel. His mother, Marsha (née Smulevitz), is the daughter of a West Side Chicago union organizer who worked in the civil rights movement. She used to own a local rock and roll club.
Nides is to this day a close adviser to Hillary Clinton and has long been considered Biden’s leading candidate for the role, which presidents usually reserve to a close ally.
For his service, in 2013, Secretary Clinton awarded Nides the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the nation’s highest diplomatic honor. In 2016, Nides was considered for the role of White House Chief of Staff in Hillary’s administration.
Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations and current chairman of the World Likud, told the WSJ Israel described Nides as being “connected to the Jewish community in Minnesota,” and “very knowledgeable about the region,” adding, “We are looking forward to working with him on all the issues.
Back during the 2020 presidential campaign, Nides served as a Biden and Kamala Harris proxy, but in an interview with the NY Times, he came across more as a Hillary proxy. “Hillary Clinton really likes Joe Biden, and always has,” Nides attested. “This is a real thing, not politics. She really liked him as a human being, and the feeling is mutual.”