Philip Gordon appointed White House Mideast coordinator

(JTA) — Philip Gordon, a foreign policy expert in the Obama administration, was appointed the White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region.

Gordon’s appointment was announced Saturday by White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. Gordon will begin in his new post on March 11, according to the announcement.

Gordon has served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs since May 2009. He was a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The appointment comes ahead of Obama’s scheduled March 20 visit to Israel for the first time as president.

Donilon called Gordon "a key member of President Obama’s foreign policy team for the past four years.

"His work on international security, international economics and European and Middle Eastern Affairs make him the perfect person to coordinate our policy in this time of great challenge and opportunity in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf," Donilon said in a statement issued by the White House.

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