Miami Business School hosts first World Leaders Lecture

Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak.
By UM News

Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak.

Miami Business School hosts first World Leaders Lecture

By UM News
Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak, who previously served as minister of the interior and minister of foreign affairs, kicks off the lecture series Monday evening.

The University of Miami Business School will host its first World Leaders Lecture on Dec. 10 with former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak, one of the most recognizable names in Israeli politics. He will speak on the topic of “Technology, Commerce and Global Security.”

The New York Timesreferred to Barak as a man “who over a half-century career became Israel’s most decorated soldier and held the nation’s trifecta of top positions.” He has served Israel as prime minister, chief of general staff of the Israeli Defense Forces and most recently as minister of defense, a position he took on in 2007.

"The Miami Business School is delighted to host Prime Minister Barak, a visionary political leader and consistent advocate for peace in the Middle East,” said John A. Quelch, dean of the Business School. “It is an honor to welcome him for our inaugural World Leaders Lecture.”

In 2012, Barak was bestowed the U.S. Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who praised Barak for his dedication to public service.

A global political figure, Barak played a pivotal role in various Middle East peace efforts. In 2012, Foreign Policymagazine named him 13th among its 100 Global Thinkers. The Wall Street Journaldeclared him “one of Israel's towering military figures for much of the past two decades.”

As Israel's 10th prime minister, Barak led the country out of a prolonged recession and into an economic boom, with 5.9 percent annual growth, record foreign investments, near zero inflation, a reduced deficit and significantly decreased external debt.

The core of his government’s effort was devoted to the peace process: in May 2000, Barak ordered the withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Forces from southern Lebanon, ending 18 years of Israel’s 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 then-President Bill Clinton and his administration.

Barak served 36 years in the Israeli Defense Forces, becoming the most decorated soldier in its history. He was a key architect of the June 1976 Entebbe Operation to rescue passengers on the Air France aircraft hijacked by terrorists and forced to land at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. 

Barak also previously served Israel as minister of the interior and minister of foreign affairs. He received his bachelors of science in mathematics and physics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and his masters in economic engineering systems at Stanford University. 

The World Leaders Lecture, made possible with support from the Finker Frenkel Family Foundation, will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 at Storer Auditorium, 5250 University Drive on UM’s Coral Gables campus. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP, as space is limited.