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Name: Sobel, Clifford
Current Position: former Ambassador
Clifford M. Sobel was sworn in as the US ambassador to Brazil on July 20, 2006. Born in 1949, Sobel attended the University of Vermont and graduated in 1972 from New York University's School of Commerce with a B.S. degree in management. During the 1970s and 1980s, he founded and later became chairman of several companies that designed, manufactured and imported fixtures in retail environments. From 1985 to 1991, he was founder and board member of Norcrown Bank of Roseland, New Jersey. Most notably, he was Chairman of Net2Phone, Inc., which is the largest provider of Internet telephone service.
A politically active Republican who between 1993 and 2004 donated $362,749 to Republican candidates and committees, Sobel has also served on the boards of such conservative organizations as the libertarian Lexington Institute, the right wing think tank Empower America (now known as FreedomWorks), the business-oriented Business Executives for National Security, the fiscally conservative/socially tolerant Republican Leadership Council, and the industry-funded Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, which denies the reality of global warming. He reportedly considered running for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey, both in 2006 and in 2008. 
Sobel has been appointed to various posts by both Republican and Democratic administrations. From 1987 to 1989, he served on the U.S. Government Industry Sector International Trade Board. From 1993 to 1997, he served as a Secretary of Defense appointee to the Board of Visitors of the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, and from 1994 through 1998, Sobel served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington, DC. From 2001 to 2005, Sobel was Ambassador to the Netherlands. 


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