Obama Adviser Ben Rhodes to Join Washington Holocaust Museum Council

Opponents of Iranian deal slam appointment of aide who played key role in drafting nuclear accord.

U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes at the White House, February 18, 2016. U.S.
Kevin Lamarque, Reuters

Just a few days before he leaves office, President Barack Obama has appointed Ben Rhodes, one of his top national security advisers, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.

Rhodes, whose mother is Jewish, played a key role in formulating policy that led to the Iranian nuclear agreement. He also wrote two of the most memorable speeches delivered by Obama on U.S. Middle East policy — one in Cairo in 2009 and the other in Jerusalem in 2013.

Rhodes, who served as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, came under fire last year following the publication of a lengthy profile in The New York Times Magazine. Rhodes suggested in the profile that he relied on inexperienced reporters to create a somewhat misleading narrative about how the Iranian nuclear deal evolved.

His appointment to the Holocaust museum has been strongly condemned on social media by opponents of the Iranian deal.

Earlier this week, Obama also named Sarah Hurwitz, senior speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama, to the Holocaust memorial museum council. Other recent appointments to the council include Michael Bosworth, the president’s deputy counsel; Melissa Rogers, his special assistant; and Edward Lazarus, executive vice president of the Tribune Media Company.