U.S. introduces next ambassador to Lebanon

Maura Connelly, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department Near Eastern Affairs bureau, and former charge d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Damascus, will be nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, diplomatic sources say. That’s the job her boss Assistant Secretary of State Jeff Feltman previously held.

Connelly traveled with State counterterrorism coordinator Dan Benjamin to Syria last week. She served as charge in Damascus from 2008-2009, and in the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003.

From 1993-1996, Connelly served as the political section chief at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, where she was awarded for her reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in the late 1980s, she served as the head of the political section at the U.S. embassy in Algiers. She has also served as Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in London.

She’s due to speak next month at the Middle East Institute on the Obama administration’s Lebanon policy. (Politico)