Confirmed by the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 83-11, Schenker joined the State Department in June 2019 to oversee the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which encompasses eighteen countries and includes more than 9,000 diplomats and other staff in missions from Morocco to Oman. As assistant secretary, he was devoted to strengthening relations with U.S. allies, building peace between Israel and a variety of Arab partners, countering the influence of Iran and its proxy militias, and leveraging U.S. diplomatic power to advance stability and economic opportunity in the region.
Prior to joining the government, Schenker was the Institute’s Aufzien Fellow and director of the Beth and David Geduld Program on Arab Politics. Previously, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Levant country director, the Pentagon's top policy aide on the Arab countries of the Levant. The author of numerous monographs and books on the Middle East, Schenker has been published and cited frequently in major media outlets.