By Wiem Melki | Dec 16 2011Barack Obama , Delaware , Gordon Gray , greece , Jacob Walles ,
U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday, December 14, the appointment of senior diplomat Jacob Walles as the new USÂ ambassadorÂ to Tunisia.
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has not yet scheduled confirmation hearings for Walles.
Walles holds the rank ofÂ MinisterÂ Counselor, his previous position was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware he graduated from Wesleyan University and holds a degree fromÂ the School of Advanced International StudiesÂ at John Hopkins University.
Walles has been working for the US Department for more than 20 years now. He served in a number of posts involving Middle Eastern Affairs, includingÂ special assistant for the Middle East peace process in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and First Secretary at the US Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv.
He was the deputy principal officer at the US Consulate in Jerusalem from 1996 to 1998. He laterÂ worked as the director ofÂ the Office of Israel andÂ Palestinian Affairs from 1998 to 2001. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern AffairsÂ between JanuaryÂ and June, 2001.Â He previously served as a USÂ Counselor General and Chief of Mission in Jerusalem from July 2005 to August 2009.
Walles will replace Gordon Gray, the current U.S. ambassador to Tunisia, who was confirmed by the SenateÂ on July 10, 2009 to his post. HeÂ has almost 30 years of experience in the Foreign Service, primarily in positions dealing with the Middle East.Â Gray succeeded career diplomat Robert F. Godec.
Since the opening of the U.S. embassy in Tunis, only career diplomats have held the post of Ambassador.