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The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a Director's Lunch with Yehuda Yaakov, Consul General of Israel to New England, in the Belfer Center Library (L369).
Yehuda Yaakov brings to the position of Consul General of Israel to New England more than two decades of experience in public diplomacy and strategic affairs. He has been a member of Israel’s Foreign Service since 1989, previously serving outside of Israel in New York and New Zealand.
For more than a decade, Yaakov has played an important role in formulating and implementing Israel's diplomatic approach to managing strategic challenges. Since 2008 he has focused on the public-diplomacy aspects of the Iranian crisis, work for which he received the Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General's award for excellence in 2012.
Beforehand he led the department for the prevention of non-conventional weapons (2004-2007), a position he assumed after establishing and running the counterterrorism & homeland security desk (2001-2004).
From 1997-2001, Yaakov served as Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York, where he oversaw the operation of Israel's extensive public affairs and media relations apparatus. He left for the Consulate General of Israel to New York after a stint as arms control adviser (1995-1997), serving prior to that as deputy ambassador in the Israeli Embassy to New Zealand, in Wellington (1992-1995).
His career has also included the academic world. In the spring of 2013 he published the updated, translated version of his Haifa University master’s thesis on the implementation of coercive diplomacy in the Iranian nuclear crisis; from 2003-2007, he taught a Bar Ilan University MA course he conceived and wrote on the relationship between peace negotiators and the media.
Yaakov's views have been widely sought out by elected officials, diplomats, security figures, academics and the media. He has been interviewed by leading television networks, given numerous briefings, been cited in a variety of articles, and has also published op-eds (including the Boston Globe).
Yaakov was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BA in journalism and international relations from Syracuse University in 1982. The following year he immigrated to Israel where he served in the Israel Defense Forces. He and his wife Ofra have already celebrated their silver wedding anniversary, and they have two adult-age daughters.