With civil war and unrest unfolding across portions of the Middle East and North Africa, President Barack Obama is seeking to fill an important diplomatic post in the region by nominating Dan Shapiro to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. The nomination of Shapiro, currently senior director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council, was announced Wednesday by the White House. Shapiro was a key adviser on the Middle East to Obama’s presidential campaign. Also on Wednesday president Obama nominated Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as ambassador to China. If confirmed by the Senate he would be the first Chinese-American to hold the sensitive post.