Former Israeli Minister of Tourism Asaf Zamir was named Israel’s new consul general in New York on Tuesday.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid made the announcement, saying that Zamir “has the professional and interpersonal capabilities to represent the State of Israel with honor and pride.”

Zamir served as tourism minister during Benjamin Netanyahu’s government but resigned in October 2020. He was deputy mayor of Tel Aviv from 2008 to 2018, and a year later joined Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party.

The consul general post in New York has been vacant for nearly a year with Israel Nitzan serving as acting consul general in the interim.

Zamir said his new position in New York “entails a great opportunity and responsibility—strengthening Israel’s position, the bipartisan [nature of] relations and ties with the Jewish communities in the United States are important and complex challenges that have been brought to the forefront of the new government.”