Just months after a new cable car started running in Haifa, it brought a very distinguished visitor to the Technion — U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas R. Nides. The Ambassador came to campus August 22 as part of a day trip to Haifa, where he visited city landmarks, met Haifa Mayor Einat Kalisch Rotem, and engaged with local leaders in the fields of education and economy.   

“It’s a big honor to be here,” Ambassador Nides told President Sivan and other senior managing directors of the Technion, adding that the university’s reputation precedes it. “I first heard about the Technion when I was 14 — the fact that it was built before the country was founded, its extensive contribution to Israel’s development, and its role as the cradle of the Start-Up Nation.” The Ambassador also spoke highly of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute and its contribution to New York City’s economic development. 

The visit to the Technion focused on research collaborations with partners in the U.S., particularly the need to expand the U.S. – Israel Binational Science Foundation, and the importance of diversity in academia. President Sivan and Professor Adi Salzberg, VP for Diversity and Inclusion at the Technion, also discussed Technion initiatives to promote a diverse and inclusive atmosphere for everyone on campus regardless of religious or gender identities, as well as socio-economic status. “We are committed to ensuring that no student will stop studying due to financial difficulties,” President Sivan said.  

Ambassador Nides began his career on Capitol Hill as an assistant to the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and executive assistant to the Speaker of the House. He served the public in many capacities, including as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources from 2010 to 2013, before his confirmation as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel in November 2021. The Ambassador is also known in the world of finance, where he held executive positions at Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Fannie Mae.