WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump is set to name a Los Angeles prosecutor to be the State Department’s envoy for anti-Semitism. The post has been empty for two years, leading to protests from lawmakers and Jewish groups.
Elan Carr, 50, is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and a former president of the Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. Trump will name him Tuesday. JTA had advance knowledge of the appointment, but held it at the request of sources. Jewish Insider broke the story Monday night.
“We eagerly look forward to working with Carr, as his office combats rising anti-Semitism, generated from the far right, the far left, and Islamist extremists, and abetted by the ubiquitous nature of social media,” David Harris, the American Jewish Committee CEO said in a statement.
Carr is immediately plunging into his work, heading this week to a conference on anti-Semitism in Bratislava organized by Slovakia, which currently holds the chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and then a European Union conference on anti-Semitism in Brussels. He has met or has planned meetings with predecessors from both Republican and Democratic administrations.
The announcement comes after Trump left the position open for two years, leading to multiple letters of protest from Jewish groups and a bipartisan array of members of Congress.
Trump’s failure until now to name an envoy has been exacerbated by concerns in the Jewish community that the president has equivocated in condemning white supremacists who have endorsed and praised him, and has cultivated relationships with authoritarians who have flirted with the far right, particularly in Hungary.
The U.S. House of Representatives last month overwhelmingly approved a bill elevating the position to ambassador level. The position was established by law in 2004.