January 9, 2009

Update: Dennis Ross to serve as MidEast “Ambassador at Large”; or is he?

It seems that Dennis Ross’ role in the Obama administration will not be confined to the Iran portfolio as had earlier been suspectedBloomberg, AP and others are reporting that Ross will be in charge of the entire Middle East, acting as sort of a “regional Secretary of State.”
No word yet on who will focus solely on Iran–it might still be Ross, or it might be current Undersecretary of State Bill Burns, who is staying on under Obama.
More to come as information becomes available.  For additional news on all things transition, check out the wonderful Laura Rozen’s new blog, The Cable, over at Foreign Policy Magazine’s website.
update: Sources are saying that Ross will probably still hold onto the Iran portfolio as part of his larger duties…
update 2: We have it on good authority that Ross’ appointment is not a sure thing just yet.  It seems that Ross and a few backers are treating his appointment like a fait accompli, but that the decision has not formally been made.  This could be good news for people like Amb. James Dobbins or Amb. Thomas Pickering, both of whom would make outstanding envoys and who are sure to be on anyone’s short list…

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