The special ambassador appointed to oversee the Obama administration’s drive for a Mideast peace deal is leaving his post and returning to his think tank.

Martin Indyk, who was U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, was director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution when the White House called on him to guide negotiations last summer.

Earlier this month, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Indyk was “absolutely” still on the job when reporters asked whether he was still at work on the peace process, derailed by Fatah and Hamas forging a unity pact.

When asked if there were any plans for Indyk to return to the region, Harf replied, “Not to my knowledge.”

Secretary of State John Kerry today announced that the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations will be returning to the Brookings Institution.

Deputy Special Envoy Frank Lowenstein will now serve as the Acting Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

ÔÇťAmbassador Indyk has invested decades of his extraordinary career to the mission of helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace. It’s the cause of Martin’s career, and I’m grateful for the wisdom and insight he’s brought to our collective efforts,” Kerry said.

“Martin’s simply invaluable, a terrific partner and friend, and he played a vital role in the progress that was made in the negotiations. He’ll continue to work for peace, and as we’ve all said many times, the United States remains committed not just to the cause of peace, but to resuming the process when the parties find a path back to serious negotiations,” he added. “I am very grateful to Martin for his indefatigable efforts and creativity, and I look forward to continue working closely with him.”