Duluth Native Nides Tabbed For Israel Ambassador Post

Duluth-native Tom Nides has been selected to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Israel, according to several American and Israeli media reports.

Nides, who graduated from the University of Minnesota, served in the Obama administration as deputy secretary of state, and the Clinton administration as the chief of staff to the U.S. Trade Representative. 

JTA reported that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, in his book “Ally,” described Nides as “irreverent, hard-working, highly intelligent, and warm,” while quickly earning his “affection and trust.”

Steve Huengs, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, congratulated Nides.

“Nides follows in an impressive line of Ambassadors from Minnesota including Eugenie Anderson (Denmark); Geraldine ‘Geri’ Joseph (Netherlands); Walter Mondale (Japan); and Samuel Kaplan (Morocco),” Hunegs wrote.

Senator Amy Klobuchar added: ‘Tom Nides grew up in Duluth and has been a good friend since we met as college interns for then-Vice President Mondale. Since then he has served ably — and most importantly, optimistically — in many leadership positions, including at the State Department. During his time with the Obama administration, Tom distinguished himself as a key voice on Israel and an advocate for humanitarian support for U.S. allies in the region. As Ambassador, I am confident that Tom will further the deep and enduring alliance between our two nations.”

The Times of Israel, which was the first outlet to break the story, reported that President Joe Biden’s decision for the ambassadorship was between Nides and former Florida Congressman Robert Wexler.

Much of Nides’ non-governmental work is in the banking industry. According to the State Department website, prior to joining the Obama administration, Nides was the COO of Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services firm from 2005 to 2010. He was an executive officer and served as a member of Morgan Stanley’s Management Committee and Operating Committee. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Nides served as worldwide president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller and as chief administrative officer of Credit Suisse First Boston, the investment banking division of Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group.

In his public service career, Nides began his career on Capitol Hill as assistant to the Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives and Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House.

Nides grew up in a household that was active in the Duluth Jewish Community: His father, Arnold, was a past president of Temple Israel and the Duluth Jewish Federation; his mother, Shirley, was a co-president and longtime board member of the Temple Israel Sisterhood.