Thomas Nides was born on January 1, 1961, in Duluth, Minnesota. His father was president of the local Reform congregation and his mother taught Hebrew. He attended Duluth East High School and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a major in political science.
During Nides’ freshman year of college, he worked as an intern for Walter Mondale. After graduating, he worked on Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign as the Midwest field director. Then, from 1986 to 1989, Nides worked for the Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives, Tony Coelho. After Coelho’s resignation, Nides worked in the office of Speaker Tom Foley from 1989 to 1993. In 1994, during the Clinton Administration, he served as chief of staff for United States Trade Representative Mickey Kantor.
In 1994, Nides joined the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) as Senior Vice President, before briefly leaving in 1996 to work at Morgan Stanley. In 1997, he returned to Fannie Mae to resume a new position as Vice President of Human Resources.
He served as former senator Joe Lieberman’s campaign manager when he ran for vice president in 2000.
From 2001 to 2004, he was the Chief Administrative Officer of Credit Suisse First Boston and later served for one year as Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer of Burson-Marsteller. From 2005 to 2010, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley.
Nides was the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources from 2011 to 2013. While serving in the Obama administration, he was involved in winning congressional approval for a three-year extension of loan guarantees to Israel worth $3.8 billion. He also argued against congressional consideration of limiting support for UNWRA and UNESCO.
For his service in the position, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton awarded Nides the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in January 2013, the nation’s highest diplomatic honor.
After leaving the State Department in 2013, Nides served as managing director and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley.
In June 2021, President Biden nominated Nides to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
According to Ben Samuels, Nides “is not closely linked with the American-Jewish community,” but he has a close relationship with members of President Joe Biden’s inner circle.
Democratic Majority for Israel CEO Mark Mellman called him “a wonderful man whom I’ve had the honor to know for decades. His deep experience in the State Department, his outstanding diplomatic skills, broad policy knowledge, and his deep commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship make him a perfect choice to be America’s top diplomat in Israel.”
He is married to Virginia Carpenter Moseley and the couple has two children.
Sources: “Thomas R. Nides,” Wikipedia.
Jacob Magid, “Thomas Nides accepts Biden offer to serve as next US envoy to Israel – source,” Times of Israel, (May 25, 2021).
Ben Samuels, “Tom Nides Emerges as Front-runner for Biden’s Ambassador to Israel,” Haaretz, (Apr. 28, 2021).
“Former Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides Rejoins Morgan Stanley as Vice Chairman,” Morgan Stanley, (February 26, 2013).
Ron Kampeas, “This Jewish Obama administration official appears to be the front-runner for US ambassador to Israel,” JTA, (May 3, 2021).
Photo: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.