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Statesman, historian, and parliamentarian, Ambassador Michael Oren has devoted his life to serving Israel and the Jewish people around the world.
As a Member of Knesset and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, he interacted with foreign leaders and defended Israel in the media. He spearheaded efforts to strengthen Israel-Diaspora relations, to develop the Golan Heights, and to fight BDS . As Chairman of a classified subcommittee, he dealt with some of Israel’s most sensitive security issues.
Prior to that, for nearly five years, Oren served as Israel's Ambassador to the United States. He was instrumental in obtaining U.S. defense aid, especially for the Iron Dome system, and American loan guarantees for Israel's economy. He built bridges with diverse communities across the nation, wrote dozens of op-eds, and conducted hundreds of media interviews, fortifying the U.S.-Israel alliance.
A graduate of Princeton and Columbia, Dr. Oren was a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. He holds four honorary doctorates and was awarded the Statesman of the Year Medal by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Dr. Martin Luther King Legacy Prize for International Service. His last three books—Six Days of War, Power, Faith, and Fantasy, and Ally: My Journal Across the American-Israel Divide—were all New York Times bestsellers. He received the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year Award, a National Humanities prize, and the Jewish Book Award.
Frequently interviewed by the U.S. and international press, he has appeared on the Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher shows, 60 Minutes, and the View. He was the Middle East analyst for CBS and CNN.
Raised in New Jersey, Oren made aliyah in the 1970s, was an emissary to Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union, and won two gold medals in the Maccabiah Games. In the Israel Defense Forces, he served as a Lone Soldier in the paratroopers and as an IDF Spokesman, participating in several wars and reaching the rank of major. He established the Lone Soldier caucus in the Knesset.
Oren was named by Politico as one of the fifty most influential thinkers in America, by the Forward as one of the five most influential Jews in America, and by the Jerusalem Post as one of the ten most influential Jews worldwide.
Currently, he is a consultant for Kirkland & Ellis LLP and is writing a book about Israel’s War of Independence. Oren is the father of three and grandfather of four and lives in Jaffa. Headshot photo credit to Rose Eichenbaum.
Michael Oren's Speech Topics
Israel, Forging the Twenty-First Century
Explores the reasons why every major high-tech company in the world now has at least one R & D center in Israel. Such innovation is the driving force behind Israel’s newfound relations with African nations and with the major economies of China, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. Ambassador Oren reveals how, in areas as diverse as water reclamation, smart agriculture, biotechnology, three-dimensional printing, and cybersecurity, Israel is transforming our lives.
My Life in History, Diplomacy, and Dyslexia
A personal journey through a life spent balancing a love for contemporary international affairs with a passion for writing about the past. Throughout, Ambassador Oren will speak frankly about his struggle with learning disabilities—how he learned to cope with them and what he, along the way, learned.
Israel and American Jews, One People, Two Realities
What we must learn from one another and understand about each other’s history and worldview, and why we are living in the most extraordinary moment in Jewish history. Citing 4,000 years of Jewish history, Ambassador Oren reveals the role of peoplehood in forming and preserving Jewish identity. He surveys contemporary challenges to that identity and proposes ways to overcome them.
Israel and the American Idea
Traces the special relationship between the United States and the Jewish State beyond Israel’s founding to the Puritan Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock and through the minds of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Harry Truman. Drawing on stirring examples from his books, Ambassador Oren shows how famous Americans such as Herman Melville, John Steinbeck, and Mark Twain contributed to the making of Israel