Former Israeli Ambassador to Italy and Middle East Expert
Travels from Tel Aviv, Israel
Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability.
Topics:Middle Eastern and Foreign Affairs, Academic Perspectives on Israel and Jewish History, Inside Israel and US Government, Positively Israel, Media and Current Events
Concurrently, Ambassador Meir launched a diplomatic career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem and served as an assistant at the Personnel Department of the Ministry in the years 1973-1977. In 1977, he was appointed Consul and Chargé D’affaires for Administrative Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC until 1982. During this period, Ambassador Meir participated in the negotiations team for the Egyptian Peace Treaty and then joined the official delegation to Camp David, for the signature of the peace agreement in 1979.
Throughout his diplomatic career, Ambassador Meir carried alternated administrative tasks and appointments with diplomatic missions outside Israel. He served as Deputy Director of the Personnel Department at the MFA in Jerusalem, and in 1985 was appointed Consul and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa, where he served until 1988. In that year, he returned to Jerusalem and served as Director of the Training Division at the MFA. Among the tasks that he carried out during this appointment was the training of all diplomats of the MFA cadets’ course. Additionally, he served as Director of the Academic Program of the Rothschild Foundation (Keren Yad Hanadiv).
In 1991, Ambassador Meir was appointed as Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Head of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in London England, where he served until 1995. Between 1995 and 1998, he served as advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on World Jewish Affairs, and in 1997 he became a member of the Conversion Bill Committee (The Yaakov Ne’eman Commission).
From 1998 to 2000, Ambassador Meir worked as the Executive Director of the Hadassa Network in Israel. Between 2000 to 2006 he served as Deputy Director General for Media and Public Affairs at the MFA in Jerusalem, during the challenging periods of the Second Intifada as well as the Second Lebanon War. In 2006 he was appointed as Ambassador of the State of Israel to Italy, Malta, San Marino and the FAO. During his 5.5 years of service as the Ambassador, he worked closely with the Italian government, and established excellent relations with their top leaders, including President Napolitano and Prime Ministers Prodi and Berlusconi.
As part of a recent reform of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jerusalem, three Directors Generalsare in charge of three different operating ranges: Politics, Multilateralism, and Public Diplomacy. Ambassador Meir’s long professional experience on media, communications, information and public relations, made him the number 1 choice to lead Israel’s advocacy campaign. And so, upon his return from Italy at 2012, Ambassador Meir served as Director General for Public Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.
Ambassador Meir recently retired from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, having concluded a long fulfilling 45 years of service as a diplomat.
Ambassador Meir is married to Professor Amira Meir, Department Head at the Beit Berel College and lecturer in Biblical Studies at the Hebrew Union College. He is father to Adi, Irit and Noa and the proud grandfather of five grandchildren.
Download a prepared introduction for Gideon Meir gideon-meir-intro-march-2014.docx