Daniel Rubinstein in Jerusalem in 2010.(U.S. Department of State)

Daniel Rubinstein has been appointed U.S. special enjoy for Syria, JTA reports. Rubinstein, who served as the consul general at the Jerusalem consulate from 2009 to 2012 and as the director of the State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs from 2004 to 2005, replaces Robert Ford as the diplomat in charge of U.S. policy in the tumultuous region.

“It’s more than fair to say that he is among our government’s foremost experts on the Middle East and has served with distinction in some of our most challenging and high profile regional missions, including Damascus,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement announcing the appointment. “Wherever he’s served — from Jerusalem to Amman, from Baghdad to Tel Aviv, from Tunis, to the Sinai, and most recently back in Washington in the INR Bureau where I was reacquainted with him — Daniel has excelled.”

Apart from his extensive past experiences in foreign policy, Rubinstein is fluent in Hebrew, Arabic and Portuguese.