Avi Dichter, chairman of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors and former Israeli minister of home front defense, will discuss Israel’s security challenges at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Jan 27. The event is hosted by the Baker Institute’s Center for the Middle East.
Dichter’s free public lecture titled “Israel’s Security Challenges” will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Baker Hall’s Doré Commons. Baker Institute Founding Director Edward Djerejian will provide introductory remarks.
Prior to serving as minister of home front defense under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from 2012 to 2013, Dichter was minister of public security under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from 2006 to 2009. In the latter role, he 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 European Union. 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 was born in Israel to parents who survived the Holocaust.