During his tenure, Israel’s 10th Prime Minister Ehud Barak lead the country out of prolonged recession and into an economic boom, with 5.9% annual growth, record foreign investments, near zero inflation, a halved deficit and significantly decreased external debt.
However, the core of the Barak government’s effort was devoted to the peace process: in May 2000 Prime Minister Barak ordered the withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Forces from South Lebanon, to end 18 tragic and bloody years of Israeli presence there. He led far-reaching efforts to negotiate peace agreements, first with Syria and later with the Palestinian authority, with the active participation of President Bill Clinton and his administration. Regrettably, these negotiations did not result in the breakthroughs necessary to conclude final agreements.
Before being elected Prime Minister, Barak completed an illustrious 36-year career in the Israeli Defense Forces as the most decorated soldier in its history. Led dozens of still secret operations and a number of legendary commando raids including, disguised as an airport mechanic, freeing the hostages from a hijacked Sabena airliner in 1972; disguised as a woman to carry out the hitting of PLO terrorists leaders in Beirut in 1973; and being a key architect of the rescue of hostages aboard an Air France jet hijacked to Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976.
Barak filled other top positions in the IDF, including Head of Planning (J5), Head of Military Intelligence (J2), Commander of the Central Command and Deputy Chief of General Staff.
As Chief of the General Staff of the IDF, he was involved in the negotiation and implementation of the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan. An especially meaningful event for Barak in light of his warm relationship with King Hussein.
Barak also served his country as Minister of the Interior, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister till 2013.
Mr. Barak received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his M.S.C in Economic Engineering Systems at Stanford University in California.
As of September 2016, he was nominated as Senior Fellow non-resident at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.
Barak is considered a true renaissance man of many interests. He plays the piano, is a science aficionado, an avid reader and lately this year, among various business involvements, speeches and participating in world geopolitical gatherings, he published in English his autobiography “My Country My Life”.
Barak has invested in 4 Israeli start-ups and sits on their boards: Carbyne, Canndoc, Guardicore, Toka.