U.S. Ambassador to Israel

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Considered one of the more important diplomatic posts, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel heads the U.S. diplomatic mission to the State of Israel. The Embassy is located in Tel Aviv, rather than Jerusalem, to avoid controversy with other nations that do not regard Jerusalem as Israel's capital. There is, however, a Consulate-General in Jerusalem, with the Consul General having the unusually high designation, of Chief of Mission. The incumbent is Daniel Rubinstein, a senior Foreign Service Officer. [1]

As of March 2011, the Ambassador is James Cunningham, [2] a Foreign Service Officer, although President Barack Obama has nominated Dan Shapiro, senior director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council staff. [3] Shapiro was a campaign adviser to Obama and had a major role in outreach to the Jewish community. He has served in the national security staffs of other presidents and senators, and also has been the vice-president of a marketing communications firm.