The White House named noted Holocaust researcher Deborah Lipstadt as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism on Saturday.
The 74-year-old historian was marked as one of the leading candidates for the position by Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Melissa Rogers during an emergency meeting last week between White House officials and representatives of the Jewish Federations of North America (JNFA) on the recent spike in anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S.
The appointment is set to be confirmed on Friday, according to the U.S. news website The Forward.
The Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, which answers to the U.S. State Department, has recently seen a substantial increase in funding.
Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where she was the founding director of the Institute for Jewish Studies.
She is the author of the 1986 book Beyond Belief: the American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust 1933-1945 which tells the story of how U.S. media ignored information about the Holocaust during World War II, and 1993 Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, published in 1994, led British writer and Holocaust denier David Irving to sue her for libel in London in 2000.
The trial resulted in an overwhelming victory for Lipstadt, who in 2005 wrote her memoir: History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.
Lipstadt is currently on the Boards of the Jewish Forward Advisory Committee and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and serves as a judge for the Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature. She has also served in several roles at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, including twice as a Presidential Appointee to the Museum’s Council, and was asked by President George W. Bush to represent the White House at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Lipstadt was previously a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Religious Persecution Abroad and was a Board Member of Hillel International, The Defiant Requiem, and The Covenant Foundation.
She has received numerous awards for her research and writing and is the recipient of nine honorary degrees. Lipstadt received a B.A. from City College in New York and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. She is fluent in Hebrew.
In a 2018 interview with Ynet's Hebrew edition, Lipstadt said that anti-Semitism was rampant among radical left circles in U.S. academia, as students holding progressive views are made to choose between environmental and anti-racist messaging and supporting Israel.