Leadership

Dialogue2020-Dec8

By November 18, 2020 December 8th, 2020 No Comments

Itamar Marcus (IL)

Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch is one of the foremost authorities on Palestinian ideology and policy. Marcus has published hundreds of reports and articles on Palestinian society, education, and media exposing PA hate and terror promotion in education, sports, culture and other frameworks the PA controls. PMW’s work has changed the way the world sees the Palestinian Authority.

Marcus has made numerous presentations to legislators, governments, and other decision-makers. His book Deception, co-authored with Nan Jacques Zilberdik, was acclaimed by the founder of Human Rights Watch, Robert Bernstein, as "one of the most important books you handle in your lives.”

Marcus was appointed by the Israeli Government to represent Israel in negotiations on incitement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1999. He has received awards from ZOA, Israel Media Watch, and EMET, and was recognized as being among the world’s "top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life or the State of Israel," by The Algemeiner newspaper.

 

Michael Easson (AU)

Michael Easson is executive chair of EG Funds Management, with offices in Sydney, Australia, and Austin, Texas, and co-founder and executive director of the building technology company Willow Inc., with offices in Sydney, New York, London and Tel Aviv. He is the first independent chair of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. After serving in several significant positions in the Australian trade union movement, for the last 25 years Michael has worked in business, including serving on boards in many fields including insurance, infrastructure, construction, sport, and the arts. He has a long standing interest in and has written articles on the Middle East and Australian foreign policy. He has a BA (Hons.) in politics from the University of NSW (UNSW); a MSc from Campion Hall, the University of Oxford; a PhD in History from the Australia Defence Academy, UNSW; and a PhD in transp

Danny Danon (IL)

Ambassador Danny Danon was Israel’s 17th Permanent Representative to the United Nations and is currently the Chairman of World Likud.

Prior to assuming his role as UN ambassador, Danon served in the 18th, 19th, and 20th Knessets. Danon served as Deputy Minister of Defense and as Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, as well as serving as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, chairman of several committees including the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs and the IDF Widows and Orphans Caucus and was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense, Economic Affairs, and Constitution, Law and Justice Committees.

Prior to serving in the Knesset, Danon was a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Chair of World Betar, and member of the Executive Board of the World Zionist Organization.

Danon holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Florida International University, for which he earned Magna Cum Laude Honors. In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University.

He is married to Talie Danon. They have three children, Aviad, Hila, and Shira.

 

Mitch Fifield (AU)

Ambassador Mitchell Peter Fifield is the Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations. He is the former Minister for the Arts under the Malcolm Turnbull Government,  he served as a Senator for Victoria from 2004 to 2019, representing the Liberal Party.

 

Theresa Villiers (UK)

Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet CFI Vice-Chairman

Theresa Villiers has been the Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet since first being elected in 2005. She retained her seat in the 2019 General Election with a majority of 1,212 votes.

Between July 2019 and February 2020, Theresa served in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's first Cabinet as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, presenting ground-breaking legislation to Parliament.

Theresa served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from September 2012 until July 2016. Prior to this she was a Minister of State at the Department of Transport from May 2010 until September 2012. While in opposition she served in the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport from July 2007 until May 2010.

Shortly after she entered the House of Commons, Theresa was appointed to Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a role in which she served until July 2007 upon her promotion to Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. From July 2005 until January 2006 she was a member of the Environmental Audit Committee.

In 2014, Theresa chaired 11 weeks of cross party talks in Belfast resulting in the Stormont House Agreement which set out a way forward on resolving a number of crucial issues threatening the stability of the political settlement in Northern Ireland. After problems with implementation, Theresa chaired a further 10 weeks of talks in 2015 which delivered the Fresh Start Agreement.

A former barrister, Theresa was a lecturer at King’s College London when the London Conservatives chose her to top the list of their candidates for the European Election in 1999. Theresa was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the London constituency in 1999, and was re-elected in 2004. She served as Deputy Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament between 2001 and 2002 as well as serving as a member of the governing board of the Conservative Party during this period.

Theresa has visited Israel with CFI on several occasions (most recently in February 2017) and has spoken at many CFI events.

Hillel C. Neuer (CA)

Hillel C. Neuer is a Canadian-born international lawyer, writer, and the executive director of UN Watch, a human rights NGO and UN watchdog group based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Neuer is the founding chairman of Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, a coalition of 25 NGOs from around the world. He has written on law, politics and international affairs for the International Herald Tribune, Juriste International, Commentary, The New Republic, Christian Science Monitor, and the Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs.

Neuer was selected as one of the "top 100 most influential Jewish people in the world" by Israeli newspaper Maariv, and by the Algemeiner Journal in 2017. He is an outspoken defender of Israel and critic of the UN's human rights councils' actions.

More bio information.

Michael Danby (AU)

Member of Parliament

The Hon. Michael Danby is a seven-term MP in the Labor Party, the opposition in the Australian Federal Parliament. He was first elected as member for Melbourne Ports in 1998. Since his election to federal parliament his main areas of interest have been foreign affairs, defence, national security, immigration, electoral matters, human rights and the environment. Michael is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Henry Jackson Society (London) and NGO Monitor (Jerusalem). He recently gave a major paper in the Japanese Diet to “China Initiatives” on the growth of Beijing’s military “hard power”. In London last month he appeared on a Henry Jackson Society panel focusing on the integration of Beijing “Sharp Power” with its new assertive military stance. In 2016 he addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, criticising it for concentrating on the Israel-Palestinian conflict to the exclusion if vital human rights violations. In the Parliament Michael served as a one of two opposition whips (2001-2007); Parliamentary Secretary to the Opposition Leader; Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts (Assistant minister in the Gillard government); was a member of the Parliamentary Electoral Matters Committee and became Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing committee on Electoral Matters (2006); Chair of the Joint-Standing Committee on Migration (2007-2010); and Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. He is presently deputy chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and deputy chair of both the Australia/Tibet Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Australia/USA Parliamentary Friendship Group.

 

David Suissa (US)

David Suissa is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, the largest Jewish weekly in the US.

For 13 years, David has been writing a weekly column in the Journal that earned him the “Best Columnist” award by the L.A. Press Club and first prize for editorial writing by the American Jewish Press Association.

Before entering journalism, David was founder and CEO of Suissa Miller Advertising, a marketing firm that was named Agency of the Year by USA Today. In 2005, he sold the company so he could dedicate himself full-time to the Jewish world.

David was born in Morocco and grew up in Montreal, where he graduated from McGill University in 1978. He now lives with his family in a Jewish neighborhood of Los Angeles that reminds him a little of his old neighborhood in Casablanca.

 

Ian Austin (UK)

Lord Austin is the British trade envoy to Israel and a member of the House of Lords. He served as a member of the British House of Commons until November 2019 and in the government of Gordon Brown. Ian is one of the most outspoken voices for Israel and against antisemitism in Parliament.

He is a Non-affiliated Life peer who was been a member of the House of Lords since 14 September 2020.

Ian resigned from the Labour party in February 2019, blaming its leader Jeremy Corbyn for "creating a culture of extremism and intolerance" and a failure to tackle antisemitism within the party. "I grew up listening to my dad, who was a refugee from the Holocaust, teaching me about the evils of hatred and prejudice," he said. "One of the main reasons I joined the Labour Party more than 35 years ago was to fight racism and I could never have believed I would be leaving the Labour party because of racism too."

He was appointed the prime ministerial trade envoy to Israel in July 2019, tasked with helping to grow trade between the UK and the Jewish state. Commenting on his appointment at the time, Ian said he was looking forward to “working with the Department for Trade and the brilliant team at our embassy in Israel who are working so hard to help British companies win business in Israel and strengthen the trading relationship between the two countries”

Ian is the founding chairman of the cross-party Mainstream, the campaign against extremism, designed to encourage a return to respectable and responsible politics, and to banish extremism from British politics once and for all.

In November 2019, Ian announced he would not be standing in the 2019 general election and instead urged voters to support Boris Johnson to stop Jeremy Corbyn, who he described “as completely unfit to lead our country". He outlined how he had “joined the Labour party as a teenager. I worked for the Labour party. In my 30s I was a government adviser, in my 40s I was an MP and a minister. So it's really come to something when I tell decent. traditional, patriotic Labour voters that they should be voting for Boris Johnson at this election.”

Ian was raised in Dudley before graduating from Essex University with a degree in Government and Politics. He started his career as a sports journalist before becoming a local councillor. He became press officer for the West Midlands Labour Party and then was the Deputy Director of Communications for the Scottish Labour Party, before becoming a political advisor to Gordon Brown in 1999.

Ian was first elected to his home seat of Dudley North in 2005 and became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister in 2007. In opposition, Ian was the Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government; Culture, Media, and Sport; and Work and Pensions.

In parliament, Ian has led the campaign in support of people-to-people projects in Israel and Palestine. He has been a long-standing advocate of these groups that are vital in laying the foundations for a lasting peace. Ian is also one of the leading voices in parliament for Holocaust education and Holocaust memorial. He chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Holocaust Memorial and recently led a session in the House of Commons chamber on Holocaust Memorial Day 2019.

Ian was until recently a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, a position he held since September 2017, and has previously been a member of the Home Affairs and Education select committees. He is also a member of the parliamentary Panel of Chairs, responsible for chairing Public Bill Committees and Westminster Hall debates.

In addition to foreign affairs, Ian takes a particular interest in education, regional economic development and housing issues.

Bruce Wolpe (US/AU)

Profile coming soon

Dani Dayan (IL)

Amb. Dani Dayan served as Consul General of Israel in New York, accredited to 5 States from 2016 till 2020.

Previously he was Chairman of the YESHA Council for 6 years. An hi-tech entrepreneur, he holds an M.Sc. in Finance and a B.Sc. in Economics and Computer Science.

 

 

Nahum Barnea (IL)

Nahum Barnea is a prominent Israeli journalist and commentator whose columns have much influence in Israel in the public policy arena on key issues. He began his journalism career at The Hebrew University, writing for the student newspaper. In 1967-1982, he worked for the newspaper Davar, becoming the paper's correspondent in Washington, D.C. Later he founded and edited the weekly Koteret Rashit. Since 1989, he has been the chief columnist of Yedioth Ahronoth, the biggest daily in Israel. He was awarded the Sokolov Prize for journalism in 1981. In a survey in 1998, he was voted one of most influential journalists in Israel. In 2007, he won the State of Israel Israel Prize. In 2007, he accepted an award from the president of Tel Aviv University for his unique contribution to journalism in Israel. In sum, he is an authoritative voice on some of the most critical issues in Israel and the Middle East.

Albert Dadon

Albert is a musician, entrepreneur, and chairman and founder of the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue.

He is the founder and executive chairman of Ubertas Group, a prominent property development company of medium and high-density projects in residential apartments and hotels.

He supports numerous philanthropic initiatives and works for the community in a range of activities covering international affairs and cultural events.

In 2008, he was awarded an Order of Australia for services to the arts, particularly through the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, to the community through philanthropic support for cultural and charitable organisations, and to business. He founded the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange in 2002, an organisation launched through a joint communiqué between the Australian and Israeli Governments (the only such joint communiqué to date). The organisation was launched simultaneously by the then respective Foreign Ministers of the two countries, Alexander Downer and Benjamin Netanyahu.

He then launched the Australia Israel UK Leadership Dialogue to promotes trilateral relations between Australia, Israel and the United Kingdom. It evolved from the first forum that took place in Israel in June, 2009, under the leadership of then Deputy Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and five Dialogues took place. This year it is reorganised and expanded into the International Institute of Strategic Leadership Dialogue.

Mr Dadon is also an active performing jazz musician and has released a dozen albums since 1990. Last year he was awarded the Chevalier of

 

Moshe Bar Simantov (IL)

Mr. Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov has a rich experience in directing large-scale public and governmental systems, and in leading strategic processes on the national level. He has a deep familiarity of all fields relevant to finance, healthcare, and regulatory systems. Mr. Bar Siman-Tov has led strategic and structural changes, as well as organizational innovation and digital transformation for the healthcare system in Israel.

From July 2015 until June 2020, Mr. Bar Siman-Tov served as the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as the DG of the Ministry of Health, he was in charge of leading the national professional and medical response to the pandemic. Under the political leadership of the Coronavirus cabinet of ministers, Mr. Bar-Siman-Tov led the national efforts in various fields: preparation of recommendations to the Cabinet, implementation of national policies, leading the professional Ministry team, coordination and preparedness with and of the hospitals, laboratories, research centers, and all other relevant bodies. In addition, Mr. Bar-Siman-Tov addressed the Israeli media and public alongside the Prime Minister, sometimes on a daily basis, in order to convey and explain the governmental policy.

As Director General, Mr. Bar-Siman-Tov held the direct responsibility for a budget of 60 billion NIS per year (18 billion USD), and the indirect responsibility of additional 40 billion NIS per year (11.5 billion USD), as well as the responsibility for 3,600 employees of the Ministry, over 40,000 employees of the various public hospitals, and the indirect responsibility of 100,000 additional healthcare employees.

Among other endeavors:

Mr. Bar-Siman-Tov is an economist, holding a master degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in economics and Business Administration and spent 11 years in the Ministry of Finance. Prior to his position at the Ministry of Health, he served as the Economic Minister at the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C.

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok (AU)

Sanjeev Sabhlok arrived in Melbourne in December 2000 from India where he had been a member of its permanent senior civil service. In Melbourne he worked first in the Victorian WorkCover Authority as an executive followed by 15 years as a senior economist in Victoria’s Department of Treasury and Finance. On 9 September 2020 he resigned from the Treasury to protest the pandemic policies of the Victorian government and explained the reasons in an op-ed in the Australian Financial Review. 

Thereafter he has written a book, The Great Hysteria and The Broken State to explain why he believes the government's approach to the coronavirus pandemic is inconsistent with the science and the laws. After further research he has arrived at the view that in addition to causing extensive economic harms, lockdowns have caused significant harm to the health of the people and has lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court for what he believes are crimes against humanity in Australia.

Sanjeev has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Southern California and is a prolific author on Indian issues in Times of India where he also has an online blog. He is also author of a book, Breaking Free of Nehru, and in 2013 founded India's only classical liberal political party, Swarna Bharat Party, which is committed to liberty and to bringing the world's best policies to India. He is an Australian citizen since 2005 and an overseas Indian citizen which provides him residency but not voting rights in India.

 

Tony Abbott (AU)

Tony was elected Prime Minister by the Australian people on September 7, 2013 and served for two years.

In his time as PM, the carbon tax and mining tax were repealed, free-trade agreements were finalised with China, Japan and Korea; the people smuggling trade from Indonesia to Australia was halted; Australia became the second largest military contributor to the US-led campaign against Islamic State in Iraq; the biggest federally-funded infrastructure program in Australian history commenced; and Australia hosted the G20 meeting of global leaders in Brisbane in November 2014.

In 2014, and again in 2015, he spent a week running the government from a remote indigenous community.

As opposition leader at the 2010 election, he reduced a first-term Labor government to minority status before comprehensively winning the 2013 election.

Between 1996 and 2007, he was successively parliamentary secretary, minister, cabinet minister, and leader of the House of Representatives in the Howard government. As health minister, he expanded Medicare to include dentists, psychologists and other health professionals and resolved the medical indemnity crisis. As workplace relations minister, he boosted construction industry productivity through the establishment of a royal commission against union lawlessness. And as employment minister, he developed private-sector job placement services and work-for-the-dole for long-term unemployed people.

Tony served as the member for Warringah in the Australian parliament between 1994 and this year. As the local MP, he was instrumental in the creation of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to preserve the natural and built heritage of his electorate and elsewhere.

Before entering parliament, he was a journalist with The Australian, a senior adviser to opposition leader John Hewson, and director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. He has degrees in economics and law from Sydney University and in politics and philosophy from Oxford which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

He is the author of three books: The Minimal Monarchy (1995), How to Win the Constitutional War (1997), and Battlelines (2009).

He is a Member of the Australian War Memorial Council, and a Director of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

Since 1998, he has convened the Pollie Pedal annual charity bike ride which has raised almost $7 million for organisations such as Soldier On, Carers Australia, and other charities. He still does surf patrols with the Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club and serves as a Deputy Captain with the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade. He was appointed by the UK Government as an Advisor to the Board of Trade in 2020.

He is married to Margaret and they are the parents of three daughters – Louise, Frances and Bridget.

 

Matthew Guy (AU)

Matthew Guy is the former Leader of the Victorian Liberal Party and former Victorian Minister for Planning, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship.

During his period as Planning Minister, Matthew initiated and launched the Plan Melbourne urban planning strategy which is the guiding urban planning framework for Australia’s second largest and fastest growing city. He similarly launched Victorian Regional Growth Plans which have begun a long process of decentralising and regionalising the state of Victoria’s heavily Melbourne centric population base.

After the Liberal National Coalition parties defeat at the 2014 elections Matthew was elected Leader of the Liberal National Coalition and served in this role until the Coalition’s defeat at the 2018 elections.

Matthew represents the eastern suburban Melbourne constituency of Bulleen and has been a member of the Victorian Parliament since 2006. He is married with three young sons.

 

Lord Eric Pickles (UK)

CFI Parliamentary Chairman (House of Lords)

Lord Pickles is a Conservative Member of the House of Lords, and was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Brentwood and Ongar from 1992 until 2017. He was the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2010 to 2015, and the Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2009 to 2010. Lord Pickles was appointed a Knight Bachelor in May 2015 for his services to local government, and was elevated to the House of Lords in June 2018.

Throughout his political career, Lord Pickles has been a tireless advocate for Israel and the Jewish community. He has joined CFI on numerous delegations to the Israel, first visiting the country with CFI in 1994, and served as CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman from May 2015 until he stood down as a Member of Parliament in April 2017. He was appointed CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Lords after his ennoblement in June 2018.

Lord Pickles has led a number of high profile CFI parliamentary delegations to Israel and the West Bank. In February 2017, Lord Pickles planted a tree at the Yad Kennedy Memorial in the Aminadav Forest in Jerusalem in honour of his knighthood, accompanied by three former Secretaries of State.

Lord Pickles currently leads the UK Government’s work on post-Holocaust initiatives, working with academics, survivors and educational and social organisations in the UK, having been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues in September 2015. He has played an integral role in the planning for a new national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, and is a co-Chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

Lord Pickles was instrumental in the drafting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which then-Prime Minister Theresa May announced the UK would be adopting at CFI’s Annual Business Lunch in December 2016. The IHRA definition is now used by UK police, councils, universities, and schools.

Prior to his election to Parliament in 1992, Lord Pickles worked as a Consultant in Employment Practice and Local Government Editor for Conservative Newsline (1990-92).

John Spellar (UK)

John Spellar has been the Member of Parliament for Warley since 1992.

He is a Vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

His parliamentary career has included roles as Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Minister in the Whip’s Office with the official role of Comptroller of Her Majesty’s Household; Opposition spokesman for Northern Ireland from 1994 to 1995, and for Defence from 1995 to 1997; Opposition Whip with responsibility for Employment, Trade and Industry and Parliamentary Business from 1992 to 1994.

Mr Spellar has been the national officer for the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union.

He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University.