President Barack Obama will nominate Michael McFaul, his chief adviser on Russia, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, the White House announced.
McFaul is the senior director of Russia and Eurasia Affairs for the White House National Security Staff and often travels with the president.
Before joining the administration, McFaul was a political science professor at Stanford University from 1995 to 2009. He received his bachelors and masters degrees from the school where he studied international relations, Slavic languages and Russian and East European studies.
He also was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, directing the Russian Domestic Politics Program from 1998 to 2001. He served in the same position in the Moscow Carnegie Center in 1994 and 1995.
The nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate.
He would replace John Beyrle, a career foreign service officer who was nominated for the post by then-President George W. Bush in 2008.