Dennis Ross Leaving White House

Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Getty Images

Seasoned diplomat Dennis Ross is leaving the White House.

Ross is currently on the National Security Staff, serving as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the “Central Region” — defined as Afghanistan, Middle East, Pakistan, Persian Gulf, and South Asia.

In a statement, Ross said, “After nearly three years of serving in the Administration, I am going to be leaving to return to private life.  I do so with mixed feelings.  It has been an honor to work in the Obama Administration and to serve this President, particularly during a period of unprecedented change in the broader Middle East.  Obviously, there is still work to do but I promised my wife I would return to government for only two years and we both agreed it is time to act on my promise.  I am grateful to President Obama for having given me the opportunity once again to work on a wide array of Middle Eastern issues and challenges and to support his efforts to promote peace in the region.”

Before his current tole he was Secretary of State Clinton’s Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that “When Dennis originally joined the Administration, he made it clear that given commitments to his family, he would remain for only two years.  In light of the developments in the broader Middle East, the President appreciates his extending that by nearly a year and looks forward to being able to draw on his council periodically going forward.”

– Jake Tapper