JERUSALEM — Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed his longtime adviser Ron Dermer to be Israel's next ambassador to the United States.

Dermer, 42, has been Netanyahu's top diplomatic adviser for the last four years. The American-born Dermer will replace Michael Oren, who recently stepped down.

In an announcement Tuesday, Netanyahu said Dermer has "all the necessarily characteristics to successfully fill this important role."

Israeli media have said that Dermer, a former Republican activist, was behind Netanyahu's perceived preference of Republican Mitt Romney in last year's American election — which could put him at odds with President Barack Obama's administration.

On the other hand, Dermer's close ties to Netanyahu could make him a more effective envoy if he's perceived by the administration as speaking credibly on behalf of Netanyahu.