President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he is nominating a career foreign service officer to the high-profile diplomatic post of U.S. ambassador to Russia.
The post has been vacant since late February.
John Francis Tefft was ambassador to Ukraine in Obama's first term. He was ambassador to Georgia during the George W. Bush presidency.
The relationship between the United States and Russia has grown tense in recent months following Russia's actions in Ukraine.
In 2013, Tefft became executive director of the RAND Business Leaders Forum at the RAND Corp. research organization.