Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel's longest-serving prime minister. Fifteen years in power, including 12 consecutively, have seen him break several historical records. In 1996 Netanyahu became Israel’s youngest prime minister and someone with a rich political history. Raised by secular Jewish parents, Netanyahu grew up in two places: Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He returned to Israel in 1967 to join the Israel Defense Forces, personally helping to rescue a hijacked airplane at the Tel Aviv airport in 1972. After his military service, he started to focus on his political career, first serving as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. Later he was elected to the Israeli parliament and served as deputy minister of foreign affairs from 1988 to 1991. Netanyahu, who is also the first prime minister to be born in Israel after its Declaration of Independence, stepped down from his premiership in June 2021. During his final days in office, he led Israel's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis. In November 2020 Netanyahu was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Among Netanyahu's many accomplishments, he holds two degrees from MIT. In 1972 he arrived on campus as a 23 year-old freshman who'd already served five years as an elite commando in the Israeli military. At MIT he proved to be a young man in a hurry and was given special permission to take a double course load. This allowed Netanyahu to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture in less than three years, despite taking a break from college to go fight in another war. Without breaking stride, Netanyahu furthered his studies at the Sloan School, co-authoring a nearly 100-page thesis. In 1976, Netanyahu graduated near the top of his class at the MIT Sloan School of Management with a Master of Science in Management.

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Despite Netanyahu's commitments overseas, he has remained a very strong supporter of his alma mater. In 2001 he even made a pilgrimage to his old stomping grounds, this time under heavy security due to his high-profile status as a global leader. In addition to a large contingent of MIT Campus Police, security was provided by the Massachusetts State Police, the Cambridge Police Department, Middlesex County sheriffs, U.S. government agencies, and private guards. The event, a conference on the threat of global terrorism, was hosted by The Sloan School of Management and the School of Engineering. Joined by U.S. General Norman H. Schwarzkopf, Netanyahu spoke on the need to introduce democracy to countries with oppressive regimes. "Global peace is only possible through the education of today's students who will be tomorrow's leaders," said the MIT graduate who, among other things, has used his prestigious educational background to lead a nation.

Daria’s note: Might recommend not including this profile since Netanyahu was recently tried for corruption and fraud and removed from office.

Posted in: MIT