(QHA) -

The Senate late Thursday confirmed John Tefft to serve as the new U.S. ambassador to Russia.

The post has been vacant since the previous US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, announced his return to the United States on February 4.

On July 11, the White House announced that US President Barack Obama nominated John Tefft as the ambassador to Russia. Tefft’s appointment was backed by both Republicans and Democrats.

Ambassador John Tefft is an experienced member of the US Diplomatic Corp having joined the Foreign Service in 1972 and his most recent posting was as Ambassador to Ukraine from late 2009 to mid-2013. Tefft had previously served in several Moscow Embassy positions as well as his appointment as US Ambassador to Lithuania from 2000 to 2003 and as the US Ambassador to Georgia from 2005 to 2009. He is a graduate of Marquette University in Wisconsin and Georgetown University.