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Michael  Oren

Michael Oren

Israeli Historian, Author, Politician, Former Ambassador to the United States (2009-2013) & Current Member of the Knesset for the Kulanu Party

Michael Oren

Israeli Historian, Author, Politician, Former Ambassador to the United States (2009-2013) & Current Member of the Knesset for the Kulanu Party


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 US 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 had 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, Michael Oren made aliya 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.

Michael Oren was named by NPR as one of the best college commencement speakers ever, 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 writing a book about Israel’s War of Independence. Michael is the father of three and grandfather of five and lives in Jaffa.

Speaker Videos

Israel and American Jews: Common Destiny or Separate Paths

Power Faith and Fantasy U.S and Middle East

Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide

On Israel’s Image

Speech Topics

Israel & the American Idea

Traces the special relationship between the United States and the Jewish State past Israel’s founding to the Puritan Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock and through the minds of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Harry Truman.

Israel & American Jews

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.

America in the Middle East: Power, Faith & Fantasy

Told through amazing stories from history, the lecture shows how America’s 400-year-long involvement in the Middle East has followed unique patterns and with similarly complex results.

Israel, Forging the Twenty-First Century

Explores the reasons why every major hi-tech company in the world now has at least one R & D center in Israel and how Israeli technology is shaping our century and even changing the human condition.

Jewish Peoplehood: A New Covenant

Reveals the central role of peoplehood throughout 4,000 years of Jewish identity, points out the challenges that centrality facing today, and poses ways to overcome them.

Israel & Asia: The Vital Nexus

Shows the burgeoning importance of Israel’s relations with China, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore and how those strengthening ties are transforming technology, security, and the global economy.

My Life in Diplomacy & on Paper

A personal journey through a life spent balancing involvement in international affairs with a love for literature and writing.

Israel & the Future Battlefield

Whether it’s protecting societies from massive cyber attacks or rendering tanks invulnerable, Israel is at the forefront of defense technologies—this talk shows how and why.

The Never-Ending Yet Conquerable Hurdles

A highly personal account of struggling with, and overcoming, severe learning disabilities, from the recipient of the Washington Lab School’s Outstanding Learning Disabled Achievement Award.