Thomas C. Foley
|United States Ambassador to Ireland|
October 18, 2006 – January 20, 2009
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||James Kenny|
|Succeeded by||Dan Rooney|
January 9, 1952 |
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Thomas Coleman "Tom" Foley (born January 9, 1952) is an American politician and businessman. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland from 2006 to 2009, and he was the Republican candidate in the 2010 gubernatorial election in Connecticut.
Early life and education
Foley is one of the six children of Catherine Coleman Foley and Gifford Pinchot Foley (both deceased). He went to Phillips Academy Andover and received an A.B. in Economics from Harvard and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is of no relation to former House Speaker Tom Foley.
Foley first worked at McKinsey & Company and then at Citicorp Venture Capital. He left CVC to found NTC Group, a private investment company, in 1985. That year, NTC Group (also known as National Textile Corp) purchased the Bibb Company in Macon, Georgia. NTC purchased T.B. Woods Sons Company in 1986 and Stevens Aviation in 1989. NTC sold its interest in Bibb in 1996. In April 2007, T.B. Woods, was sold to ALTRA Holdings. Woods, a manufacturing company headquartered in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, had operations in North America, Germany, Italy, and India, 2005 revenue of about $110.9 million and about 830 employees.
In 2010, NTC's principal remaining portfolio investment is Stevens Aviation, a provider to general aviation operators of fueling and other line services, maintenance, modification, and refurbishment work, as well as aircraft sales. Stevens is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina. The company has locations in Dayton, OH, Nashville, TN, and Denver, CO in addition to its two locations in Greenville.
Foley has served in national government twice. From August 2003 through March 2004, Foley served in Iraq as the Director of Private Sector Development for the Coalition Provisional Authority. Foley’s responsibilities included overseeing most of Iraq’s 192 state-owned enterprises, stimulating private sector growth, developing foreign trade and investment, and overseeing three state Ministries. Foley received the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award in June 2004 for his service in Iraq.
From October 2006 to January 2009, Foley was the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, appointed by President George W. Bush. Foley served as Ambassador at a time when U.S. foreign policy was unpopular in Ireland. He directed his public diplomacy efforts mostly toward an improved understanding of U.S. foreign policy goals and shared interests with Ireland.
Foley worked with Robert Tuttle, U.S. Ambassador to the U.K., and special envoy Paula Dobriansky to re-establish the devolved government in Northern Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement and to stimulate investment there. He was present in Belfast on May 8, 2007 when the new government of Northern Ireland was sworn-in.
As Ambassador, Foley hosted a conference on green technology in Galway and another in Dublin on philanthropy, bringing together experts from the U.S. and their Irish counterparts. He was active in promoting cultural exchange by arranging visits from prominent Irish American artists and performers including Conan O'Brien and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
In its endorsement of Foley for the 2010 Connecticut Governor's race, the Irish Voice said, "Foley is a former Ambassador to Ireland who performed great service there and is fondly remembered."
2010 gubernatorial campaign
In June, 2009, Foley announced that he would run for the U.S. Senate in 2010 against incumbent Christopher Dodd. However, following the surprise announcement by Republican Governor Jodi Rell that she would not seek a second term, Foley announced on December 3, 2009 that he was leaving the Senate race to run for Governor of Connecticut.
On May 22, 2010, Foley received the Republican party endorsement at the state convention. Two other candidates, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele and Simsbury businessman Nelson "Oz" Griebel, also received sufficient support from delegates to qualify for an August 10, 2010 primary.
In the August 10 state Republican primary, Foley defeated challengers Fedele and Griebel to become the official Republican candidate for governor in 2010.
In the general election, Foley ran against Democrat Dannel Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford. Foley ran on a platform emphasizing his executive and problem-solving experience in the private sector and that he was not a career politician. Early in the campaign he published a "Plan Forward for Connecticut" outlining what he would do to solve Connecticut's biggest problems, including bringing more jobs to the state and closing Connecticut's large budget deficit. Foley also promoted an aggressive plan to improve Connecticut's underperforming inner-city schools.
The New London Day said in their endorsement of Foley, that "he is best suited for the job at hand. The challenges confronting the next governor do not appear to intimidate him. He is pragmatic about what needs to be fixed."
The New Haven Register also endorsed Foley and described him as "the more forthright of the two candidates," and stated that "Foley's record as a business executive is commendable. His business skills in increasing productivity while keeping an eye on cost are needed in the governor's office."
In the general election for Governor, Foley received 560,874 votes (48.95%), just short of Democrat Dan Malloy's 567,278 (49.50%) tally, a difference of less than 6,500 votes. After nearly a week of uncertainty about the actual vote tally from Bridgeport and several other towns, he conceded defeat on Monday, November 8.
2014 gubernatorial campaign
Foley plans to run for governor again in 2014.
In 1994, at the age of 42, Foley was suddenly afflicted with Bell's palsy. The condition partly paralyzed the right side of his face. Foley can only smile with the left side of his mouth; his right eye is partially closed.
In 2009, Foley married Leslie Fahrenkopf, who was 41 and vice president for global ethics and compliance and an associate general counsel at News Corporation in New York City at the time of their wedding. From 2003 to 2008, Fahrenkopf had been an associate counsel to President George W. Bush in the Office of White House Counsel. Foley has a son Tom, Jr. (born October 25, 1990) and he and Leslie have boy and girl twins, Grace Quinlan and William Reed (born September 26, 2011).
- "Leslie Fahrenkopf, Thomas Foley" wedding announcement, The New York Times, April 24, 2009 (April 26, 2009 p. ST10 NY ed.)
- NTC Group
- NTC Group web page. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- TBWoods webpage
- "Tom Foley's remarks encouraging trade and investment in Iraq", iraqcoalition.org, undated transcript of remarks. Retrieved 2010-07-03. Foley refers in the opening to being accompanied by "[interim Prime] Minister Allawi."
- Drew, April. "From Irish Ambassador to CT Gov?" Irish Voice 27 Oct. 2010: 8.
- The Hartford Courant
- The Stamford Advocate coverage of the 2010 Connecticut gubernatorial race
- "GOP: Fedele and Griebel to challenge Foley for nomination | The Connecticut Mirror". Ctmirror.org. 2010-05-22. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Foley best choice to attack fiscal problems" The New London Day, October 17, 2010. Retrieved 2011-1-27.
- "EDITORIAL: Tom Foley for governor" The New Haven Register, October 10, 2010. Retrieved 2011-1-27.
- "Statement of Vote: Election Results for Governor and Lieutenant Governor Summarized by Town". State of Connecticut, Secretary of the State. Retrieved December 18, 2010.
- Chen, David W., "Republican Concedes in Race for Connecticut Governor", The New York Times, November 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
- Vigdor, Neil (August 29, 2012). "CT Republicans already eying gov's race". Connecticut Post. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "Foley: Voters ask about my lack of smile". Norwich Bulletin (Associated Press). September 20, 2010.
- Tom Foley for Governor official campaign website
- Biography, interest group ratings, public statements, votes and actions, and campaign finances at Project Vote Smart
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Profile at the NTC Group
|United States Ambassador to Ireland
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for Governor of Connecticut