David Schenker, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs

David Schenker

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs

David Kenneth Schenker was born in 1968 in New Jersey, growing up in Ridgewood. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree at the University of Michigan, and Certificate, Center for Arabic Study Abroad at the American University in Cairo.

He spent most of his career at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, beginning as an analyst after graduate school. He joined the Defense Department under Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during the George W. Bush Administration, later returning to the Washington Institute.

He was nominated by President Donald Trump to head the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the State Department, and was confirmed in June 2019.

Schenker is Jewish.

In the News…

Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker met last week following the beginning of indirect talks with Israel over a border dispute. Berri has been the main Lebanese official dealing with U.S. mediators regarding the dispute with Israel over the past decade.

A United Nations special coordinator and the State Department in a joint statement said the Israeli and Lebanese teams “had productive talks and reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations later this month.”

Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war. Each claim about 360 square miles of the Mediterranean Sea as being within their own exclusive economic zones. Israel has already developed a natural gas industry in its economic waters elsewhere, and Lebanon hopes oil and gas discoveries in its territorial waters will help it overcome the worse economic and financial crisis in its modern history.

Schenker visited Beirut shortly after the August 4 blast that killed and wounded many and caused billions in dollars of damage. He did not hold talks with the political community at that time but did meet with members of Lebanon’s civil society.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Assistant Secretary Schenker today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable David Schenker
Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
U.S. State Department
222 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20522


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