Avi Dichter, former Minister of Home Front Defense under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Minister of Public Security under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, will discuss Israel's security challenges at an event organized by the Baker Institute Center for the Middle East. Dichter is currently chairman of the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel.
As Minister of Public Security, Dichter formed the new modus operandi of signal intelligence for the Israeli police to support a new national crime-fighting unit similar to the FBI. He also instituted Israel’s Witness Protection Program and signed cooperation agreements with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Canada’s Ministry of Public Safety and the Minister of the Interior of Germany, as well as with other countries in the EU. Dichter was a member of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, from 2006 to 2012, and was chairman of the Subcommittee for Security Conception and Power Building. Before entering politics, he was a research fellow at The Brookings Institution.
Dichter served in the most elite commando unit of the Israel Defense Forces, and later joined the Israeli Security Agency (ISA). He advanced up the ranks from air marshal to director of the agency. He held the latter position from 2000 to 2005, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence known as the Second Intifada. Dichter is credited with restructuring the ISA to effectively deal with the challenge.
Dichter holds a B.A. in social sciences from Bar-Ilan University and an MBA from Tel Aviv University. He was born in 1952 in Israel to parents who survived the Holocaust.