Shlomo Ben Ami was born in Tangiers in 1943. He has been a trustee of Fundación Bancaria Caixa d’Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona ”la Caixa” since January 2017.
He studied at Tel Aviv University, going on to complete his Doctorate in History at Oxford University.
He is currently Executive Vice-Chairman of the Toledo International Centre for Peace, of which he is a co-founder.
He was head of the post-grad School of History at Tel Aviv University from 1982 to 1986.
He was appointed Israel’s ambassador to Spain, serving from 1987 to 1991. He was elected to the Knesset in 1996. During Ehud Barak’s Labour government (1999-2001), he first held office as Minister of Internal Security and then as the country’s Foreign Minister. In this capacity, he was involved in the Camp David Accords, in which he was Israel’s chief negotiator, and he chaired the negotiating team in Taba, when a final attempt was made to secure peace. He continued to be a member of the Knesset, where he sat on the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, as well as on the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
In 2012, Ben Ami became special advisor to the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, for the peace negotiations with the FARC guerrilla group, which have now concluded. President Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for this achievement.
Since 2016, Professor Ben Ami has held the George McGovern Professorship of International and Public Affairs at the University of Columbia, New York.
Ben Ami is a member of the board of senior advisors of the International Crisis Group.
He has published numerous books in English, Spanish, French and Hebrew: A Front Without a Rearguard: A Voyage to the Boundaries of the Peace Process (2004); Los orígenes de la Segunda República: anatomía de una transición [Anatomy of a Transition] (1990); Italy between Liberalism and Fascism (1986); Spain between Dictatorship and Democracy (1980); Fascism from above: the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in Spain, 1923-1930 (1983); The Origins of the Second Republic in Spain (1978); Quel avenir pour Israël? [Which Future for Israel?] (2001); Israel, entre la guerra y la paz [Israel, between war and peace] (1999), and Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, The Israeli-Arab Tragedy (2006).
Last updated: February 2017