Noah Mamet

Last updated on 9 June 2017

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.[2]

Noahmamet.jpg
Noahmamet.jpg

Early life and education

Mamet was born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother in Manhattan Beach, California. In 1992, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[3]

Professional career

At age 21, Mamet entered politics by working on the 1992 U.S. Senate primary bid by onetime U.S. Rep. Mel Levine.[4] He also worked for the California Democratic Party helping with Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign in Santa Barbara County.[3] 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.[4][5] Mamet also worked on Gephardt's 2004 presidential bid.[4]

In 2004, he founded Noah Mamet and Associates, a business and political consulting firm with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.[4]

In 2007, Mamet served on the international delegation for the National Democratic Institute to monitor elections in Sierra Leone.[3][5] He also has served as an adviser to the Wasserman Family Foundation in Los Angeles.[3]

Mamet raised $3,200,000 for then President Barack Obama's reelection campaign in 2012.[6] He is a member of the National Jewish Democratic Council.[7]

Nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina

On July 30, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Mamet to be the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina.[5] This received criticism from certain political figures, who criticized the fact that Memet had never been to Argentina.[3][8] On July 31, 2013, Obama formally nominated Mamet to the post.[9] Mamet's nomination languished for months after his United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. He speaks conversational Spanish.[6]

On June 24, 2014, the Senate's foreign relations committee voted to forward Mamet's nomination to the full Senate.[10] 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.[11][12] On December 2, 2014, the Senate confirmed Mamet in a 50-43 vote and he was sworn in on December 10, 2014.[13] He arrived in Argentina on January 16, 2015 and presented his credentials that same day.[14]

Ambassador Mamet in Argentina

As Ambassador, Mamet stated his desire to build connections between the US and Argentina through science, technology, energy and student exchange.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

Upon resigning his position, Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra presented Mamet with the Order of the Liberator General San Martín, the highest decoration of the Argentine Republic. [18]

Criticism

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.[19][20]

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."[21] 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.[22] Mamet has also been criticized for lack of “major diplomatic experience” and not visiting Argentina prior to his nomination.[20][23]

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.[24]

AFSA issued a letter to the U.S. State Department urging it to “oppose granting of Senate consent to these three candidates.”[25] The letter was the first of its kind, which set a new historical precedent to ambassadorial designations in the U.S.[25]

Personal

Mamet has been a resident of Marina del Rey, California.[4] He is not married and has no children.[26]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Deputy Chief of Mission". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  2. ^ Revesz, Rachel (January 20, 2017). "Donald Trump has fired all foreign US ambassadors with nobody to replace them". The Independent. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Haaretz: "Obama fundraiser Noah Mamet appointed U.S. envoy to Argentina - Mamet, a fundraiser for Democratic causes, has been confirmed to the Argentinian envoy post, despite having never visited the country" December 3, 2014
  4. ^ a b c d e "Noah Mamet nominated as US ambassador". Buenos Aires Herald. 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  5. ^ a b c "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". The White House: President Barack Obama. 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  6. ^ a b http://foia.state.gov/searchapp/DOCUMENTS/5-FY2014/F-2013-12853/DOC_0C05521180/C05521180.pdf
  7. ^ Jewish Telegraph: "Dems fundraiser Noah Mamet confirmed as U.S. envoy to Argentina" December 3, 2014
  8. ^ ABC News. "5 Most Cringe-Worthy Blunders From Obama's Ambassador Nominees". ABC News.
  9. ^ "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate". whitehouse.gov.
  10. ^ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ntquery/z?nomis:113PN0113300:
  11. ^ "Senate advances nominations of Obama bundlers". TheHill.
  12. ^ "U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote". senate.gov. 27 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Ambassador Mamet Sworn in by VP Biden". US Embassy.
  14. ^ "Timerman recibió al nuevo embajador de Estados Unidos" (in Spanish). Télam. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  15. ^ "Noah Mamet: "Necesitamos que la Argentina triunfe". Loreley Gaffoglio" (in Spanish). La Nación Revista. August 21, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  16. ^ "Embassy’s commitment with the environment". US Embassy.
  17. ^ "Friends of Fulbright Scholarship". US Embassy.
  18. ^ "Malcorra condecoró al embajador de Estados Unidos con la Orden del Libertador San Martín" [Malcorra decorated the United States ambassador with the Order of the Liberator San Martín]. Política Argentina (in Spanish). January 10, 2017. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  19. ^ Susan Crabtree (March 14, 2014). "Obama under fire for big-money ambassador nominees". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  20. ^ a b Lachman, Samantha (February 7, 2014). "Obama Nominee For Ambassador To Argentina Has Never Actually Been There". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  21. ^ Cramer, Ruby (December 18, 2013). "Ambassador Appointment Draws Ire Inside Democratic Donor Class". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Retired U.S. diplomats call for end to political ambassador appointees". United Press International. February 14, 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  23. ^ "So-called Ambassador Noah B Mamet is Unfit to Represent the United States". Huffington Post Club.
  24. ^ Al Kamen (March 10, 2014). "Foreign Service leaders ask Senate to reject Obama nominees". The Washington Post . Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  25. ^ a b Santiago del Carril; Tomás Brockenshire (March 8, 2014). "Former US diplomats challenge Mamet pick". Buenos Aires Herald. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Congressional Record, Volume 160 Issue 99 (Tuesday, June 24, 2014)". gpo.gov.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Vilma Martínez
United States Ambassador to Argentina
2015–2017
Vacant

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