WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has nominated David Hale, a career foreign service officer and long-time Middle East expert, as the next ambassador to Pakistan, according to an announcement.

Hale is currently the US Ambassador to Lebanon, a position he has held since 2013.

Obama named him for the post on Tuesday and if confirmed by the Senate, Hale would replace Richard Olson.

Hale previously served as the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2011 to 2013, and as Deputy Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011.

From 2008 to 2009, he was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State.

Prior to that, Hale served as US Ambassador to Jordan from 2005 to 2008.

He served at the US Embassy in Jordan as Charge d’Affaires from 2004 to 2005 and as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2003 to 2004.

Hale has also served as Director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State, and in other positions overseas in Bahrain, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.