Consul Arie Sommer, a veteran of the Israel Government’s Ministry of Tourism, was nominated Tourism Commissioner for North and South America in October 2005. This is Mr. Sommer’s second term in New York, where he served in the same position from 1996 to 2001. In his 28-year career with the Ministry of Tourism, he has represented Israel as the Director of the Israel Government Tourist Offices in Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles, and has served as Director of Overseas Offices and Operations at the ministry’s Jerusalem headquarters. Prior to his present appointment he served as the ministry’s Deputy Director of Marketing Administration. Arie Sommer was responsible for organizing the first-ever convention of Jordanian and Israeli Travel Agents in Israel in December 1994, as well as the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s historic Conference on Peace Tourism in September 1995. In the United States he oversaw Israel’s 50th Anniversary and Millennium tourism campaigns, and was responsible for Israel’s recognition of American and Canadian efforts to build tourism to Israel with the creation of the 50th Anniversary Travel and Tourism Awards. In 1999 he was chosen the “Middle East Destination – Person of the Year” by Travel Agent Magazine.