This biography is no longer current; at present, no other official U.S. Department of State biographical information is available.
Ambassador Clifford M. Sobel was nominated by President Bush on May 23, confirmed by the Senate on June 29, and sworn in by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on July 20, 2006 as Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federative Republic of Brazil. He presented his credentials to the Brazilian Foreign Ministry on August 2, 2006. Ambassador Sobel is the 53rd Chief of Mission to Brazil.
Ambassador Sobel was also the 62nd Ambassador of the United States to the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 2001-05.
Ambassador Sobel has had a career noteworthy for its wide experience in the business world, diversity, community, and philanthropic service. Prior to becoming Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, he was Chairman of Net2Phone, Inc., a public company listed on the NASDAQ (NTOP). Net2Phone is the largest provider of Internet telephone service, marketing a broad range of enhanced Internet communication applications. Net2Phone formed a joint venture with Cisco, specializing in Network Management Software. Ambassador Sobel was co-chairman of that newly formed company called ADIR.
Ambassador Sobel was also Chairman and President of SJJ Investment Corporation and CMS Realty Company, where he was responsible for investment decisions in a wide variety of areas. From 1985-1991, he was founder and board member of Norcrown Bank of Roseland, New Jersey. During the 1970s and 80s, he founded and later became Chairman of several companies that designed, manufactured and imported fixtures in retail environments. 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.
By Presidential appointment, Ambassador Sobel served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington, DC between 1994 through 1998. He was on the board of the Lexington Institute, a wide-ranging public policy think tank based in Arlington. Virginia, whose primary focuses are education reform, national security, deregulation, corporate governance and tax rate reduction. Prior to his service at The Lexington Institute, he served as Chairman of the Board Overseer of The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, also a public policy think tank. From 1987-1989, he was appointed to the U.S. Government Industry Sector International Trade Board.
Ambassador Sobel 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 Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.