Ehud Barak is one of the most recognizable names in Israeli politics. He has served as Israel’s Prime Minister, Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces and most recently as Minister of Defense. He also served as Minister of the Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
As Israel’s 10th Prime Minister, Barak led the country out of prolonged recession and into an economic boom. However, the core of his government’s effort was devoted to the peace process, including the May 2000 IDF withdrawal from South Lebanon.
With the Clinton administration, Barak also led far-reaching efforts to negotiate peace agreements, first with Syria and later with the Palestinian authority. As IDF Chief of the General Staff, he was involved in the negotiation and implementation of the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan.
Prior to being elected Prime Minister, Barak completed an illustrious 36-year career in the IDF as the most decorated soldier in its history. He was a key architect of the June 1976 Entebbe Operation to the rescue of passengers on the hijacked Air France aircraft forced to land at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
In 2012, Barak’s efforts for peace and in strengthening US-Israeli relations, earned him the US Department of Defense’s Distinguished Public Service Award presented by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.