The swearing in of the new U.S. Ambassador to Rome, David Thorne, 64, marks new era for U.S.-Italian relations. Investor, entrepreneur, author and supporter of the arts, Thorne is the co-founder of Adviser Investments one of the U.S.’s top firms specializing in Vanguard and Fidelity mutual funds and exchange trade funds. He is a former President and current Board member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and led the design oversight team for its new building in Boston. Additionally, he has participated in a variety of other undertakings including marketing, consulting, and real estate.
His love of Italy is a part of both his professional career, as well as his personal life. One of his favorite pastimes that have remained with him since his days as a boy living in Italy is playing soccer. Thorne continues to play league soccer in New England, and is an avid fan of the Italian national team especially during the European and World Cup.
“The Italian-American partnership is a long one, and our alliance is strong. But I am committed to finding new ways to build upon this legacy and nurture a living, two-way dynamic partnership, un rapporto vivo, said Thorne. “I want to ensure that Italy ansd the United States continue to work together to address the global challenges we face.”
This will not be Thorne’s first experience in Rome. He lived in Rome for the majority of his childhood, the son of Landon Thorne Jr., a U.S. administrator of the Marshall Plan in Italy. His father then established and directed the Italian branch of the Banker Trust Company.
Senator John Kerry, Thorne’s former brother-in-law and close college friend, gave the new Ambassador’s introduction at the official swearing in ceremony. Thorne’s close ties with Kerry, who is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as his professional relationship with U.S. President Obama are something that will be utilized to cement the ties between Italy and the U.S.
“Italian immigrants have brought a wonderful heritage of success here- Italian food, clothes, and innovative design have permeated our culture,” said Thorne. Thorne, who resided in Brookline, Massachusetts prior to his Rome appointment, graduated from Yale University in 1966 and received a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1971. The Ambassador served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970 and is author of The New Soldier (Macmillan 1971).
Judge Arthur J. Gajarsa (United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), who also grew up in Rome, administered the Oath of Office. Present at the ceremony were a multitude of important figures to the realm of Italian-American relations including Giovanni Castellaneta, Italian Ambassador to the U.S., Liborio Stellino, the Italian Consul General of Boston, Thomas Menino,the mayor of Boston and Congressman Michael E. Capuano.
In addition to Thorne’s appointment, Doctor Miguel Humberto Díaz was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See (Vatican). Díaz serves as a Professor of Theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota. He has written numerous acclaimed books about explorations of the Catholic faith, and has taught at other esteemed universities and seminaries such as The University of Notre Dame, Barry University, the University of Dayton, and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, where he served as Academic Dean.
“I welcome the opportunity to deepen and expand upon the special relationship that has evolved between the United States and the Vatican over the past 25 years of formal diplomatic ties,” he said. The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See and the Vatican work closely on issues ranging from religious freedom, and interfaith dialogue to security issues such as human trafficking and human rights. Now that Ambassador Díaz has presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI, his work begins with the Vatican on these religious and social issues.