Former US Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson and IMO Challenge Coins 2011-2013

Assisting in the continued diplomatic efforts between the United States and its northern neighbor of Canada, the staff at the US Embassy continues to ensure goodwill and ties between both countries. Between 2009 and 2013 leading the US effort and representing US policy in Canada was US Ambassador David Jacobson. First selected as the US Ambassador to Canada on August 5th, 2009 Mr. Jacobson underwent a stringent selection and hearings process to ensure he met the criteria set forth by the Department of State and the US Senate. By September 23rd, his confirmation was finally approved and Mr. Jacobson became the 29th US diplomat to uphold that position.

Fmr. Ambassador David Jacobson
Fmr. Ambassador David Jacobson

Born on October 9th, 1951 Mr. Jacobson is a graduate from Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University Law Center where he endeavored to pursue an education in legal affairs. For much of his initial career, Mr. Jacobson worked out of the Sonnenshein Nath & Rosenthal legal offices in Chicago. There he practiced the offices international legal affairs focusing on complex commercial, class action, securities, insurance and business litigation, eventually becoming a 2008 fundraiser for then Congressmen Barack Obama during his presidential campaign. Once Mr. Jacobson achieved that position as Partner, he founded AtomWorks, an organization to bring together corporate, civic and academic leaders that could foster the development of nanotechnology in the Midwest. He also served as CEO for Cities, a bipartisan alliance of 75 mayors, corporate executives, university presidents and nonprofit leaders organized to increase competitiveness and economic growth between population centers. Mr. Jacobson’s actions earned him a position on President Obama’s transition team in the Office of Presidential Personnel before first being appointed to the position as Ambassador.

Upon confirmation, Mr. Jacobson presented his credentials to Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean in a ceremony on October 2nd, 2009 and then assumed his position at the US Embassy in Ottawa. Over the next four years Mr. Jacobson served his diplomatic position with distinction and worked tirelessly to support the policies between the close nations of the United States and Canada. On May 21st, 2013 Mr. Jacobson announced his departure from the position as US Ambassador, departing later on July 15th to return to Chicago and become the Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group – also known as the Bank of Montréal where he ““will be responsible for building and reinforcing key customer relationships and business development”.

US Embassy Canada
US Embassy Canada

The US Embassy office itself is located in the downtown city of Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. Architecturally, designed to reflect bridges spanning the distance to reflect the diplomatic efforts between the two nations, the US Embassy consolidates 10 Embassy-related office and houses that serve more than 200 employees and their families. Throughout the US Embassy, artwork, sculptures, and moments can be found to demonstrate the longstanding ties between the United States and Canada and celebrate their continued partnership. In addition, personnel from 32 other U.S. Government agencies manage commercial, agricultural, customs, immigration, law enforcement, and military relations – all of which fall under the authority of the Ambassador.

Assisting the US Ambassador is the Office of Information Management for the US Department of State. These personnel are often selected as diplomatic couriers and Information Management Specialists whom handle, secure, and manage official diplomatic documents pertinent to the Ambassador’s activities and US policy. A senior Department of State representative whom has extensive cross-agency experience typically manages the IMO offices.

US Ambassador David Jacobson’s Challenge Coin 2011-2013



Coated in epoxy the Obverse of Ambassador David Jacobson’s Challenge Coin simply features a full color US Flag centered on a textured brass field. America’s flag has always held a position among foreign services representing the nation and its diplomatic efforts abroad. Around the outer edge is a blue band upon which are two five-pointed stars brass stars. Along the top half of the blue edge is written in brass “Presented by” and on the lower is written “The United States Ambassador” to complete the phrase that identifies whom presented this challenge coin.








The Reverse features the epoxy coated full-color seal of the United States and Department of State. Simply placed, the US State Department seal appears on the reverse in brown, gold, and blue while outlined in simple. Against an all white field, the US “Great Seal” the largest feature is the American Bald Eagle with a shield comprising 13 stripes for the original colonies above which is a field with stars representing the Congress. In the eagle’s mouth is a scroll reading E Pluribus Unum (Latin for “Out of Many, One”) alluding to the Union. Held in the eagle’s talons are 13 arrows and an olive branch symbolizing the war powers of strength and peace held by Congress, while above the star constellation represents the emergence of a new State attaining its sovereignty among the other world powers. Again lining the outer edge is a blue band among which are arranged 13 five-pointed stars again alluding to the original 13 Colonies that comprised the beginnings of the Unites States of America.


Canadian US Embassy Office of Information Management Challenge Coin 2011-2013


DSCN4184Featuring an epoxy-coated Obverse, the IMO Challenge Coin for the US Embassy in Canada features an all blue field. Upon which is centered a white disc and the US Department of State seal. Between this and an outer ring of red are eight corresponding “bolts” and five-pointed stars. The bolts illustrate the speed and communications capabilities of the IMO offices thought their diplomatic assignments, while the corresponding stars represent the various larger agencies of the US government. Outside of the ring of red is written in brass “Information Management Office” along the outer edge with the IMO’s motto “Empowering Diplomacy” along the bottom.





The Reverse of the IMO Challenge Coin is much the same as the US Ambassador’s challenge coin. Coated in epoxy and against an all brass field is the US Department of State Seal in full color. Along the outer edge is a blue band divided by two five-pointed brass stars. On the top half of the blue band is written Department of State denoting the office to which the coin is derived from, and along the bottom is written “United States of America” to establish this challenge coin as associated to the US and its diplomatic mission.






Works Cited

1. Jacobson, David. Biography – David Jacobson, U.S. Ambassador to Canada. May 14, 2013. (accessed October 1, 2013).

2. Kennedy, Mark. “Exclusive Interview: U.S. ambassador to Canada – David Jacobson.” Postmedia News, September 2011.

3. Sweet, Lynn. “David Jacobson steps down as U.S. Ambassador to Canada, returning to Chicago.” Chicago-Sun Times, July 2013.

4. US Embassy Public Affairs. About the Embassy. 2013. (accessed October 1, 2013).

5. —. History of the US Mission in Canada. 2013. (accessed October 1, 2013).


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