Noah Bryson Mamet (born April 1969) (pronounced muh-MET) is the former United States Ambassador to Argentina under former U.S. President Barack Obama. He was born in Manhattan Beach, California, and worked as the National Finance Director for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt for nine years. He was a fundraiser for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign and was nominated as Ambassador to Argentina in 2013, which was met with criticism. His appointment was filibustered by Senate Republicans, which was overcome by Senate Democrats. He resigned from office with a letter to the President on December 7, 2016, and left office as Ambassador on January 20, 2017.
At age 21, Mamet entered politics by working on the 1992 U.S. Senate primary bid by onetime U.S. Rep. Mel Levine. He also worked for the California Democratic Party helping with Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign in Santa Barbara County. From 1995 until 2003, Mamet worked for onetime U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt while he was House Democratic leader as a senior advisor and national finance director. Mamet also worked on Gephardt's 2004 presidential bid.
In 2004, he founded Noah Mamet and Associates, a business and political consulting firm with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In 2007, Mamet served on the international delegation for the National Democratic Institute to monitor elections in Sierra Leone. He also has served as an adviser to the Wasserman Family Foundation in Los Angeles.
On July 30, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Mamet to be the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. This received criticism from certain political figures, who criticized the fact that Memet had never been to Argentina. On July 31, 2013, Obama formally nominated Mamet to the post. Mamet's nomination languished for months after his United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. He speaks conversational Spanish.
On June 24, 2014, the Senate's foreign relations committee voted to forward Mamet's nomination to the full Senate. On November 20, 2014, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for cloture on Mamet's nomination.
On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Senate voted 50-36 for cloture on Mamet's nomination, thereby ending a Republican-led filibuster of his nomination. On December 2, 2014, the Senate confirmed Mamet in a 50-43 vote and he was sworn in on December 10, 2014. He arrived in Argentina on January 16, 2015 and presented his credentials that same day.
As Ambassador, Mamet stated his desire to build connections between the US and Argentina through science, technology, energy and student exchange.
In December 2015, the US Embassy in Argentina inaugurated its system of 72 solar panels, the first such installation at a U.S. Embassy worldwide. Also in 2015, the Fulbright Commission created the “Friends of Fulbright” scholarship program. The program gives Argentine undergraduate students a short-term opportunity to attend classes at an accredited U.S. university, and is designed for students who cannot afford the costs of an exchange program.
Since his appointment as U.S. ambassador to Argentina, Mamet has been criticized for being part of a group of nominated “ambassadors that raised six-figure sums” for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, including by websites such as The Washington Examiner and The Huffington Post.
In December 2013, BuzzFeed reported that Mamet’s nomination as ambassador to Argentina was “met with surprise, and in some cases anger, by his peers in the donor class. Democratic Party donors complain privately that Mamet unfairly leveraged his clients’ work for his own political gain and benefited from a close personal relationship with President Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina." A group of retired United States Foreign Service officers have since called for an end to the practice of appointing political contributors and supporters as ambassadors. Mamet has also been criticized for lack of “major diplomatic experience” and not visiting Argentina prior to his nomination.
In 2014, fifteen former presidents of the State Department Employees Union (AFSA) made an official request to reject Mamet’s nomination to ambassadorship, which also included George Tsunis (for Norway) and Colleen Bell (for Hungary), because “they showed limited knowledge of the countries to which they’d been nominated” at their Senate committee hearings.
AFSA issued a letter to the U.S. State Department urging it to “oppose granting of Senate consent to these three candidates.” The letter was the first of its kind, which set a new historical precedent to ambassadorial designations in the U.S.
|United States Ambassador to Argentina