Former Member of the Knesset, is the former Director of the Shin Bet (the Israeli Security Agency), and former Minister of Science, Technology, and Space.
In March 1966, Mr. Perry was recruited into the Shin Bet as a young field officer in the Arab sector. During his service, he was appointed to a number of leading positions within the agency. In 1988, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir appointed Mr. Perry as the Director of the Shin Bet, a post he held for 7 years, until early 1995.
During his term as Director of the Shin Bet, Mr. Perry served as Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s envoy to negotiate the security arrangements with the Palestinians after the signing of the Oslo Accords (1993). After his retirement from the Shin Bet, he served as the Prime Minister’s envoy on POWs (Prisoners of War) and MIAs (Missing in Action) under Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ehud Barak.
Additionally, following his service in the Shin Bet, Mr. Perry joined the private sector as the first President and CEO of Cellcom (1995-2003), which he turned into a leading company in Israel’s mobile telecom field. Since then, he served as the Chairman of the Board of a number of prominent organizations and businesses, most notably as the Chairman of Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank for 10 years.
In 2013, Mr. Perry joined the new Yesh Atid centrist party, led by Yair Lapid. In elections that year, he was elected to the Knesset and was appointed the Minister of Science, Technology, and Space, Member of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, and Observing Member of the Security Cabinet. He held these posts until December 2014, when Yesh Atid left the coalition.
During his term as Minister of Science, Technology, and Space, Mr. Perry promoted Israel’s international scientific relations, supported the establishment of new research centers around the country, and spearheaded programs to promote women and minorities in science. As a member of the government, Mr. Perry was also the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Equality in Military Service (“Sharing the Burden”), leading the push for the historical legislation that enshrined in law equality in compulsory military service for both Seculars and Ultra-Orthodox members of society.
During his second term as a Member of Knesset, Mr. Perry was an active member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee. Mr. Perry promoted cultural and defense related issues, and was also involved in many fields such as musical education, regional agreement initiative and transportation. Mr. Perry resigned in February 2018 Mr.
Perry earned his B.A. in Middle Eastern and Israel Studies from Tel Aviv University and later studied at the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Perry was born in 1944 and grew up in Netanya, Israel. From a young age he showed remarkable musical talent and later was a member of the Kol Yisrael Symphony and the Haifa Symphony playing the trumpet. He is married to Osnat, and has three children and eight grandchildren.