U.S. Ambassador to Israel under President Barack Obama, Dan Shapiro will give the Amos Perlmutter Memorial lecture.
Appointed by President Barack Obama, Daniel Shapiro served as the United States Ambassador to Israel from July 2011 until the end of the Obama Administration. As Ambassador, Shapiro won praise from leaders of both countries for his deft management of the U.S.-Israel relationship during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, the Iran nuclear agreement, regional instability, and periods of significant bilateral tension and disagreement. Among Shapiro's major contributions were negotiating the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding for U.S. military aid to Israel, unprecedented public outreach in fluent Hebrew to Israel’s diverse communities, and 40 percent growth in U.S.-Israel trade.
Shapiro's time as the Ambassador to Israel followed a diverse career of over 20 years in senior foreign policy and national security positions in the United States government, including as the Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council, in which he served as a member of Special Envoy George Mitchell’s team, led U.S. diplomatic efforts in Syria and Lebanon, and advised President Obama through the early months of the upheavals in Arab states in 2011. He also served in numerous senior advisory positions in the U.S. Congress, including with Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, and on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Currently, Shapiro is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies. His insights have been featured across the major media networks, and his writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Haaretz, CNN, MSNBC, Israeli Channel 2, and more.
This annual lecture is in memory of beloved American University School of Public Affairs Professor Amos Perlmutter, who taught at the University for nearly thirty years, until his death in 2001. Born in Poland, Perlmutter grew up in Palestine, fighting in the 1948, ’56, and ’73 wars for Israel. Later, he would cite that experience as foundational in shaping his character. He idolized Clark Gable as a child, but his role model in adulthood would be Ben-Gurion. He was a true public servant, scholar and public intellectual. The School of Public Affairs and the Center for Israel Studies are thrilled we can honor Professor Perlmutter’s contributions and memory through this lecture.