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A Conversation with Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem

Nov 8, 2011

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Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, spoke at the Woodrow Wilson School on November 8, 2011. Barkat is the ninth mayor of Jerusalem, having been elected in November 2008. Described as a secular politician, Barkat entered politics in January 2003 when he founded the party Yerushalayim Tatzli'ah ("Jerusalem Will Succeed") and ran in the Jerusalem mayoral race, losing by a narrow margin. He subsequently became head of the opposition on the city council, and served in that capacity until his election as mayor in 2008. A self-made, high-tech business executive, Barkat founded the software company, BRM in 1988, which specialized in antivirus software. The company later became a venture firm capital firm. Barkat is the founder of Snuneet, a nonprofit organization and the largest educational website in Hebrew, and Start Up Jerusalem, which encourages the creation of jobs in Jerusalem through economic growth and marketing guidance. Barkat was also instrumental in the founding of the Israel Venture Network, a venture capital network that invests in social initiatives throughout Jerusalem.Born and raised in Jerusalem, Barkat served in the Paratroopers Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces from 1977 to 1983 and achieved the rank of major.