Bruce Heyman

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Bruce Heyman
United States Ambassador to Canada
In office
April 8, 2014 – January 18, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
DeputyElizabeth Moore Aubin
Preceded byDavid Jacobson
Succeeded byKelly Craft
Personal details
Born1958 (age 65–66)
Elmira, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Vicki Heyman
(m. 1980)
Alma materVanderbilt University (BA, MBA)

Bruce Alan Heyman (born 1958) is an American businessman, author, and former diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to Canada from 2014 to 2017 under President Barack Obama.

Heyman was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12, 2014 and sworn in by then-Vice President Joe Biden on March 26, 2014.[1] He presented his credentials to the Governor General of Canada, thus beginning his duties in Ottawa, on April 8, 2014. His tenure ended on January 18, 2017.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Heyman was born in Elmira, New York[4] to a Jewish family[5][6] and raised in Dayton, Ohio.[7] Heyman graduated from the Miami Valley School, and received a B.A. (1979) and an M.B.A. (1980) from Vanderbilt University.[8][9]

His grandfather, Sam Malamud, had immigrated from Lithuania in 1912, adopting the surname of a cousin, Henry Heyman.[10]

In 1977 and 1978, Heyman interned at the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressman Charles Whalen of Ohio.[8] In the summer of 1979, Heyman was a researcher for the Small Business Committee on the Antitrust and Restraint of Trade Subcommittee.[11]


In 1980, Heyman worked as a Chicago-based investment banker for Goldman Sachs.[12] From 1985 to 1999, Heyman served as a Vice President of Goldman Sachs.[11] From 1999 to 2014, he served as a managing director of private wealth management at Goldman Sachs,[12] and as a Goldman partner from 2004 until his 2014 appointment as a US Ambassador.[11]

Prior to this appointment, Heyman served as a board member for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation. He also served as an advisor to the Fix the Debt CEO Council of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He has been a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives' Club of Chicago, and the Facing History and Ourselves Chicago Advisory Board.[13]

Bruce and Vicki Heyman with two Governor General's Foot Guards, before he presented his credentials as ambassador to David Lloyd Johnston, the Governor General of Canada.

On September 19, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Heyman, who had been a major fundraiser for his two presidential campaigns, to be the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.[14][15] Heyman was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12, 2014.[16][17] He replaced Ambassador David Jacobson.[18] As the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Heyman became a member of the Fulbright Canada Board of Directors.[19] In 2014 and 2016, Heyman was named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Business People by Canadian Business.[20][21]

In 2015, Heyman gave the keynote address at Niagara University's commencement ceremony.[22] At the ceremony, Heyman was presented an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.[22]

In January 2017, he announced that he was stepping down as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.[23] He was replaced by Ambassador Kelly Craft.[24]

During the Presidency of Donald Trump, Heyman and his wife Vicki co-authored The Art of Diplomacy: Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship in Times of Uncertainty, published in 2019. The book recounts the Heymans' experiences liaising as Ambassador and as American cultural envoy, respectively, with the Canadian administrations of Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau under the Obama administration's approach to foreign diplomacy. [25]

In 2019, Heyman was appointed co-chairman of the Advisory Board to the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. [26]

Political activities[edit]

Heyman and his wife were prominent donors to then-Senator Barack Obama beginning in 2007, when they hosted a fundraising event in their home, and came to number among Obama's top fundraisers. In 2012, both he and his wife served on the Obama campaign's National Finance Committee tasked with raising funds for Obama's re-election,[12] together contributing or collecting $1.7 million for his re-election bid.[27]

During the 2020 Presidential Election, the Heymans co-chaired the Biden campaign's American Voter Abroad Initiative[28] and led the outreach group Ambassadors for Biden.[29][30] In 2024, Heyman has publicly supported Biden's candidacy for re-election[31] and has remained supportive of the American Voter Abroad Initiative.[32]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Vanderbilt then-classmate Vicki Simons[33] who is also Jewish.[5] The two married on June 15, 1980 in Ashland, Kentucky.[8] They have three children: David, Liza, and Caroline,[33] as well as six grandchildren.

His wife served on the executive board of the Center for Jewish Life at Vanderbilt University and the foundation board of the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.[34]

The Heymans are members of the Reform Judaism Temple Shalom of Chicago.[35]


  1. ^ Ottawa, U. S. Embassy (March 26, 2014). "Excerpts from Ambassador-Designate Heyman's Remarks at Swearing-in Ceremony in Washington". U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  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. ^ Elizabeth Moore Aubin Becomes Chargé d’Affaires at U.S. Embassy, U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada.
  4. ^ Jacobs, Donna (June 23, 2015). "Emphasizing the positive". Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Montreal Gazette: "U.S. ambassador's wife on the ties that bind" by Janet Wilson April 20, 2015
  6. ^ Ottawa Jewish Bulletin: "American ambassador visits Hillel House" June 17, 2015
  7. ^ "December 2013 | Embassy of the United States Ottawa, Canada". Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Thaler, Lisa (1998). Enduring legacies : an ancestral history of David Charles Heyman (1985- ), Liza Rae Heyman (1987- ), and Caroline Lindsey Heyman (1991- ).
  9. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | The White House". September 19, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2014 – via National Archives.
  10. ^ Thaler, Lisa (1998). Enduring Legacies. Chicago, USA. p. 127.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  11. ^ a b c Palmer, Ann (November 9, 2009). "Goldman Sachs partner learned value of 'overcommunication'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Macleans: "Chicago investment banker Bruce Heyman will be next U.S. ambassador to Canada - Heyman has been managing director of private wealth management at Goldman Sachs since 1999" September 19, 2013
  13. ^ "U.S. Embassy Canada: Ambassador Bruce Heyman" March 30, 2015
  14. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". September 19, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2016 – via National Archives.
  15. ^ Mas, Susana (September 19, 2013). "Bruce Heyman named U.S. ambassador to Canada". CBC News. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  16. ^ Mas, Susana (March 12, 2014). "Bruce Heyman confirmed by U.S. Senate as ambassador to Canada". CBC News. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  17. ^ Jacobs, Donna (June 23, 2015). "Emphasizing the positive". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  18. ^ "White House says Obama to nominate investment banker Heyman as Canadian ambassador". September 19, 2013.
  19. ^ "Ambassador Bruce A. Heyman". Fulbright Canada. April 8, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  20. ^ "Canada's 50 Most Powerful Business People 2014: U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman". Canadian Business. August 21, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  21. ^ "Canada's Most Powerful Business People 2016: #25 — Bruce Heyman". Canadian Business. November 17, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Freedman, Michael (May 20, 2015). "Ambassador Heyman, Leonhardt, Brennan Highlight Commencement 2015". Niagara University News. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  23. ^ "U.S. ambassador to Canada asked to leave, announces departure effective inauguration day". The Canadian Press. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  24. ^ Carol Morello. "Former U.S. envoy to Ottawa wants Canada to get a seat on U.N. Security Council". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 1330888409.
  25. ^ Heyman, Bruce; Heyman, Vicki (2019). The Art of Diplomacy: Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship in Times of Uncertainty. Simon & Schuster (published April 30, 2019). ISBN 9781982102678.
  26. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman New Co-Chair of Wilson Center Canada Institute Advisory Board | Wilson Center". February 5, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  27. ^ "With Bruce Heyman, Another Local Obama Bundler Just Got an Ambassadorship". Chicago Magazine.
  28. ^ "Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and wife, Vicki, 'working hard' to make Donald Trump 'a footnote in history'". The Hill Times. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  29. ^ "Ambassadors for Biden Partner with Democrats Abroad to Mobilize the Vote Abroad". Democrats Abroad. July 16, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  30. ^ "Biden campaign seeks to boost overseas American voter turnout". Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  31. ^ U.S. presidential race: Joe Biden’s memory becomes focal point | CTV Question Period, retrieved March 17, 2024
  32. ^ Heyman, Bruce (January 24, 2024), Facebook Post by Former United States Ambassador to Canada Bruce A. Heyman, retrieved March 17, 2024
  33. ^ a b Vanderbilt Business Owen School of Magament Bulletin: "Couples who found fulfilling marriages through the Owen School - Vicki Simons Heyman, BA’79, MBA’80, and Bruce Heyman, BA’79, MBA’80" by Jamie Reeves Fall 2008
  34. ^ New York Times: "Alison Ayer, David Heyman" October 10, 2009
  35. ^ D'Var Sholom Bulletin Archived 2015-07-21 at the Wayback Machine Volume 88 No. 8 • May 2013 • Iyar/Sivan 5773
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Canada
Succeeded by