Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to speak at Duke University on March 22

Tickets available from the Duke University Box Office

DURHAM, N.C. -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will speak at Duke University’s Page Auditorium at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 22.

The event is free and open to the public. However, advanced tickets are required through the Duke University Box Office, with a limit of one ticket per person.

The Duke Center for Jewish Studies, in cooperation with Jewish Life at Duke and The Program in American Grand Strategy, will host the event. Public policy professor Bruce Jentleson will moderate.

Bennett served as Israel’s 13th prime minister from 2021-2022, leading a significantly diverse government that included representatives from religious and secular communities, and, for the time in Israel's history, Arab party officials in the coalition.

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett

The government under Bennett’s leadership is noted for bringing a relatively quiet year to Israel’s residents along the Gaza border and the Negev, overcoming a wave of terror, passing a reform-packed budget, successfully dealing with two waves of COVID, moving the conflict with Iran to its own soil, and reducing unemployment and the national deficit to record lows.

Following the historic Abraham Accords, Bennett became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Before moving into politics, Bennett enjoyed a successful career as a hi-tech entrepreneur. In 1999, he co-founded the information security company Cyota with three partners and served as CEO until the company was sold in 2005 to RSA for $145 million. In 2009, Bennett served as CEO of Soluto, a cloud computing start-up, which was later sold to Asurion for $130 million.

Throughout his decade in Israeli politics, Bennett served as minister of economy, minister of education and minister of defense. He is known for his innovations and bold reforms.

Bennett served as a combat soldier in Sayeret Matkal and as a company commander in the Maglan Special Forces Unit, where he commanded a series of operations in Lebanon behind enemy lines. During the Second Intifada in 2002, Bennett took a hiatus from his duties as Cyota CEO to join Operation Defensive Shield and in 2006 he commanded search and destroy missions during the Second Lebanon War.

Bennett and his wife, Gilat, live in Ra’anana with their four children.