Philip Gordon appointed White House Mideast coordinator

Philip Gordon, a foreign policy expert in the Obama administration, has been appointed the White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region.

Gordon's appointment was announced Saturday by White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. Gordon will begin in his new position on March 11, according to the announcement issued by the White House.

Gordon has served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs since May 2009.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Gordon was a senior foreign policy advisor to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, and served as: a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC; Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council under President Clinton; and a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

The appointment comes ahead of Obama's scheduled March 20 visit to Israel for the first time as president of the United States.

Donilon called Gordon “a key member of President Obama’s foreign policy team for the past four years.”

“His work on international security, international economics and European and Middle Eastern Affairs make him the perfect person to coordinate our policy in this time of great challenge and opportunity in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf,” Donilon said in a statement issued by the White House.