Daniel B. Shapiro

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Daniel Shapiro
Daniel B Shapiro ambassador.jpg
United States Ambassador to Israel
Assumed office
August 3, 2011
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Cunningham
Personal details
Born 1969 (age 46–47)
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Spouse(s) Julie Fisher
Alma mater Brandeis University
Harvard University
Religion Conservative Judaism

Daniel B. "Dan" Shapiro (born 1969) is a diplomat and the 19th and current Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Israel. He was nominated by President Obama on March 29, 2011, and confirmed by the Senate on May 29.[1][2] He was sworn in as ambassador by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 8, 2011.[3] Previously, he was the senior director for the Middle East and North Africa on the United States National Security Council.


Dan Shapiro was born to a Jewish family in Champaign, Illinois, one of four children of novelist Elizabeth Klein Shapiro and University of Illinois English professor emeritus Michael Shapiro. He went to Westview Elementary and Edison Middle school in Champaign, and graduated from the University Laboratory High School of Urbana, Illinois in 1986.[citation needed] He first entered Washington University, spending his sophomore year in Israel, and then transferred to Brandeis University,[4] where he obtained a bachelor's degree in 1991 in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.[5] Two years later he earned a master's degree in Middle Eastern Politics from Harvard University.[6]

Dan Shapiro at Mimouna celebration in Ashkelon, Israel, 2013

Shapiro speaks both Hebrew and Arabic.[7]

Shapiro is married to Julie Fisher. The couple has three daughters. They are members of the Conservative Jewish Adas Israel Congregation in Washington.[8]

Diplomatic career[edit]

From 1993 to 1995 Shapiro served as a professional staff member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee under Chairman Lee H. Hamilton. From 1995 to 1999 he was a legislative assistant and senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Dianne Feinstein. From 1999 to 2001 he sat on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, as director of legislative affairs and as a Congressional liaison for National Security Adviser Sandy Berger. From 2001 to 2007 he was first legislative adviser and then deputy chief of staff (primarily on foreign policy issues) for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. From 2007 till 2008 he was vice president of the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Timmons & Company.[9]

Shapiro has served as an advisor to Barack Obama on Middle East and Jewish community issues since 2007, also assisting as strategist and fundraiser.[10] He accompanied Obama on his July 2008 trip to Israel; in August 2008, Obama appointed him senior policy adviser and Jewish Outreach coordinator for his 2008 presidential campaign.[11]

In January 2009, Shapiro was appointed senior director for the Middle East and North Africa of the U.S. National Security Council. Focusing on Israel, he attended every Israel related meeting, and met with every senior Israeli diplomat and military officer who visited Washington. Shapiro often accompanied U.S. special envoy for Middle East Peace George J. Mitchell on his trips to the region, and played a central role in talks regarding the Middle East Peace Process and the strengthening of military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. He has maintained close relations with Benyamin Netanyahu, in spite of tensions between the Israeli prime minister and President Obama.[12]


  1. ^ Katherine Skiba (May 29, 2011). "Champaign native confirmed as ambassador to Israel". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ Reuters (March 10, 2011). "Obama Chooses Daniel Shapiro as Ambassador to Israel". New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Swearing-In Ceremony for Dan Shapiro, Ambassador to Israel". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  4. ^ Paul Wood (February 26, 2011). "Champaign native may be next ambassador to Israel". The News-Gazette. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ Andrew Wingens (March 8, 2011). "Daniel Shapiro '91 to become US ambassador to Israel, according to POLITICO". The Justice. The Independent Student Newspaper of Brandeis University. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Daniel Shapiro". The Washington Post, WhoRunsGov.com. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ Barak Ravid (July 31, 2011). "New American ambassador to try to improve Israelis' view of U.S.". Haaretz. Retrieved date=July 31, 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ Adam Kredo, Washington Jewish Week (March 9, 2011). "Dan Shapiro to be America’s new face in Tel Aviv?". JewishJournal.com. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ Tracey Ricks Foster (March 10, 2011). "Weekly news and press releases from the White House: President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". The Washington Review & Commentary. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ Jeffrey H. Birnbaum (February 13, 2007). "Hires of the Week". Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ Hilary Leila Krieger (August 20, 2008). "Obama campaign appoints Daniel Shapiro Jewish senior policy adviser". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ Barak Ravid (February 22, 2011). "Obama expected to appoint Dan Shapiro Ambassador to Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
James Cunningham
United States Ambassador to Israel