Topics: The Arab Spring: Causes & Consequences, Negotiating with Arabs- Personal Experiences, Israeli Politics in a Time of Transition, Israel and American Jews: Cracks in the Wall, How Dangerous is a Nuclear Iran?, Civil War in Syria- Sunnis, Alawis, Iran & Israel, Western Media Coverage of the Middle East, State of Middle East Studies in the US & Israel, How Strong is the American- Israel Alliance?, Islam & Democracy: The Turkish Lessons
Dr. Josef Olmert offers a rare combination of talents; a top Middle East scholar, former peace negotiator, much published author and journalist, as well as a seasoned public speaker. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina.
As director of the Government Press Office and advisor to former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir during the first Gulf War and the International peace conference in Madrid, he secured press relations for Israel with the Soviet Union and China, and represented the Prime Minister in numerous conferences and appearances in the United States ,Great Britain, Australia, China, Russia, Japan , Ireland and South Africa , among others.
His media experience has included penning a political column for Israel’s largest newspaper Yedioth Aharonot, as well as the Jerusalem Post, and numerous appearances on radio and TV shows all over the world.
Dr. Olmert is currently a regular columnist for the Huffington Post, Your Middle East, as well as many other publications. He also is a regular on Fox News Channel, and his writings and public comments on the ‘’Arab Spring’’, particularly on Syria, are widely quoted.
Dr. Olmert was a member of the Israeli delegation for peace talks with Syria in the Madrid Peace Conference and subsequent Washington, DC talks [1991-92]. In addition he participated in numerous international conferences on the Middle East, and has maintained good working relations with Arab and Palestinian Diplomats. His fluency in Hebrew, Arabic and English, as well as command of Russian and French, added value to his role.
In 1999, Dr. Olmert was a policy advisor to former Defense Minister Moshe Arens. In this capacity, he participated in official talks with then secretary of state Albright and Defense secretary William Cohen, as well as with counterparts in many other countries.
As to Israeli public life, Dr. Olmert played a significant role, particularly as a director and founding member of the Council for Parliamentary Democracy that spearheaded the successful campaign to repeal direct elections for Prime Minister. Dr. Olmert also was very active in public campaigns to promote and enhance understanding between Arab and Jewish citizens of the State of Israel.
Dr.Olmert , who holds a PH.D from the prestigious London School of Economics In Middle East Studies, headed the Syria and Lebanon desks at Tel –Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies-where he served on the faculty.
He has authored three books on the Middle East , as well as numerous articles in important academic journals. Dr.Olmert taught at Cornell University, York University in Toronto, City College in New York and American University in DC.
As a speaker, Dr.Olmert’s reach has extended nationally and internationally from colleges and universities in the US, Canada, Europe , Oceania , to major Jewish and civic organizations, as well as to important business meetings, where Dr.Olmert’s predictions about global affairs, are very valued.
Dr.Olmert resides in Columbia, South Carolina, with his wife Diana, and is a father to three daughters, living in Israel.