Trump Appoints Rudolph Atallah as Senior Director for Africa, Covers Libya
Buzzfeed News reported today that the Trump administration has hired Rudolph Atallah, a retired lieutenant colonel and respected fellow at the Atlantic Council who served for more than 20 years in the US Air Force, for the position of White House senior director for Africa. Atallah’s selection adds another former military official to the National Security Council (NSC).
Unlike under the Obama administration, Trump’s senior director for Africa will be responsible for Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Libya, countries previously under the Middle East portfolio. Not only will his background in counterterrorism operations prove valuable for North Africa, his supporters said, but so too will his fluency in Arabic.
“True, Atallah has a military background, but his knowledge of troubled parts of Africa will add value,” said Rida Lyammouri, a Sahel analyst and researcher.
As a Christian born in Beirut, Lebanon, Atallah comes to the NSC with a unique background and a skepticism of radical Islam, said an Africa analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he worked with Atallah in previous jobs. But his ex-colleague noted that Atallah has traveled extensively in Africa and worked cordially with people of many faiths, including Muslims. “We’re not talking Sebastian Gorka territory,” he said, referring to a current White House official with a long history of aggressive and disparaging comments about Islam.
Click here to read the full article.