Clifford Sobel

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Clifford Michael Sobel
Clifford M Sobel embassy.jpg
Clifford M. Sobel, Managing Partner of Valor Capital
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
In office
December 5, 2001 – August 24, 2005
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byCynthia P. Schneider
Succeeded byRoland Arnall
United States Ambassador to Brazil
In office
August 2, 2006 – August 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byJohn J. Danilovich
Succeeded byTom Shannon
Personal details
Born1949 (age 69–70)
ResidenceNew Jersey
New York
Alma materNew York University, bachelor's degree
OccupationBusiness Executive
Managing Partner, Valor Capital
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, SJJ Investment Corp.
Top Republican fundraiser[1]

Clifford Michael Sobel (born 1949, Brooklyn, New York) is an American business executive, financier, Republican fundraiser,[4][5] U.S. diplomat and former ambassador. He served as United States Ambassador to the Netherlands from 2001–2005 and United States Ambassador to Brazil from 2006 to 2009.

Since 1994, Sobel has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SJJ Investment Corp.[6] He is Managing Partner and founder of the investment firm Valor Capital Group in New York and Brazil.[7][8][9] Sobel is the Independent Director of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.[10][11]


Sobel was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. He first attended the University of Vermont, and in 1972, graduated with honors from New York University's School of Commerce with a bachelor's degree in management. During the 1970s and 1980s, he founded several companies that designed, manufactured, and imported fixtures for the setup of retail stores. These companies became some of the fastest growing and most innovative in the industry, and were awarded the Sears Chairman's Award, and numerous design awards under Sobel's management. From 1985–91 he was a founder and board member of Norcrown Bank. He was also the Chairman and President of SJJ Investment Corporation and CMS Realty Company. He then was appointed Chairman of Net2Phone, a software/services company whose principal line of business is SIP-based and PacketCable-based VoIP.

Public appointments[edit]

By Presidential appointment Sobel served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington D.C. between 1994-98. From 1987-89, he was appointed to the U.S. Government Industry Sector International Trade Board. He was on the advisory boards of Empower America and the Republican Leadership Council, and served on the board and as a member of the policy committee of Business Executives for National Security (BENS). In 1995, he was asked to testify before Congress on fast-track international trade treaties, and from 1993 to 1997, he served as a Secretary of Defense appointment to the Board of Visitors of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.[citation needed]

On July 3, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Sobel to be the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands. He was sworn in by Secretary of State Colin Powell on November 8, 2001. On December 5, 2001, he presented his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix. Sobel was the 62nd United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.

On May 23, 2006, President George W. Bush nominated Sobel to be the United States Ambassador to Brazil. On June 29, 2006, his nomination was confirmed by the Senate, and on July 20, 2006 he was sworn in by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He presented his credentials to the Brazilian Foreign Ministry on August 2, 2006. Ambassador Sobel was the 53rd Chief of Mission to Brazil. He resigned as ambassador in August 2009.

President George W. Bush appointed Sobel to serve on the Honorary Delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008.[12]

On January 8, 2019, President Trump appointed Sobel to serve as a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.[13]

Republican Party work[edit]

He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1996 and in 2000, and served on the Platform Committee and the Sub-Committee on Foreign Policy in 2000. He served as the New Jersey financial chairman of the primary and presidential campaigns for then-Governor George W. Bush. In 1998, he accompanied Governor Bush on a fact-finding mission to Israel. The Sobel Family Foundation, led by wife Barbara Sobel, a Bush 2000 Pioneer and a 2004 Ranger, gave $81,000 to GOP federal candidates and parties in the 2004 elections.

Think tanks[edit]

He was on the board of the Lexington Institute.[when?] Prior to this he served as Chairman of the Board Overseer of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution.

Personal life[edit]

Sobel is married to Barbara Grober, president of the Sobel Family Foundation.[14] He has three children.[15] He owns a house in Southampton, New York.[16][17] He has lived in Millburn, New Jersey, Short Hills, New Jersey and Miami.[18]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 1999, Sobel was awarded an honorary degree from Kean University in New Jersey.[19]


  1. ^ Ken Kurson. "Henry Kissinger Chooses Jeb Bush: Sources". Observer. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  2. ^ Chase Brush. "Pre-primary race scorecard: Christie losing to Bush on home turf - New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis". Politicker Network. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sobel, Clifford M." Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (July 8, 2012). "The Republicans' $3 Million Weekend in the Hamptons". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Bender, Michael C (February 13, 2015). "The Tactical Giving Of Jeb Bush's Fearsome Fundraising Machine". Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "Clifford M. Sobel". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  7. ^ Sreeharsha, Vinod (June 28, 2012). "Brazil's Start-Up Baby Boom". The New York Times.
  8. ^ mgryczon. "Office of the Governor - Newsroom". Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "Mitt Romney tells donors he's considering a run for the White House". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "Stock Quotes & Company News". Reuters. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "People in Business". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "Bush Visit May Boost Olmert". Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Members". Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  15. ^ "Congressional Record - 109th Congress (2005-06)". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "Chris Christie to woo GOP voters at Hamptons shindig". Daily News. New York. August 21, 2013.
  17. ^ "Romney Headed to Hamptons in July for Fundraisers". Southampton, New York Patch. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  18. ^ "Clifford Sobel - $13,800 in Political Contributions for 2014". Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  19. ^ "Sobel, Clifford M." United States Department of State. Retrieved February 5, 2017.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Cynthia Schneider
62nd U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Roland Arnall
Preceded by
John J. Danilovich
U.S. Ambassador to Brazil
Succeeded by
Tom Shannon