The Eisenhower Institute

Avi Melamed

Avi Melamed is the Fellow of Intelligence and Middle East Affairs at the Eisenhower Institute. 

A former Israeli Intelligence Official and Senior Official on Arab Affairs, his expertise is the current affairs of the Arab and Muslim world and their impact on Israel and the Middle East. His areas of focus include: the Arab awakening; Arab perspectives on Israel; emerging challenges and opportunities in the Middle East; evolving forces in the region and their current and future impact on Israel’s strategic environment, etc.

Avi spearheads the “Inside the Middle East – Intelligence Perspectives” program for college students, designed to ensure that the next generation in positions of influence will be more knowledgeable about Israel and the Middle East and will apply methods of critical thinking regarding Middle East Affairs. He is also developing a high school curriculum to increase Media Literacy and Critical Thinking.

In his work as an analyst, Avi provides intelligence analysis, briefings, and tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policy makers, and international media outlets, as well as a wide variety of organizations and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East affairs. His knowledge and background, including decades of field experience, policy design and intimate connections throughout the Arab world, offer an insider’s understanding of the constantly-changing Middle East and insight into future regional developments and implications.

Avi is also the founder and creator of Feenjan – Israel speaks Arabic, a non-profit initiative which presents contemporary Israeli society and culture to the Arab world in Arabic, and serves as an online platform for Israelis and Arabs to discover and discuss issues of common interest. In the private sector Avi facilitates relationships between Israeli and international firms and potential partners in the Arab world.

Fluent in Arabic and with a unique understanding of Arab society and culture, Avi spent almost thirty years living in Arab cities and communities throughout the region, often in high-risk positions at sensitive times. Avi’s unique experience, outstanding analytical abilities, profound understanding of the Arab world and the Arabic language - coupled with direct access to sources, resources and networks throughout the Arab world and intimate connections with local and regional intelligence resources has allowed him to keep his finger on the pulse on the Arab world that has resulted in a proven record of foreseeing the evolution of events as well as their impact on a local and regional level. 

Through all of Avi’s efforts, as a speaker, an analyst, a writer, and an entrepreneur, he is a bridge builder.  He dedicates himself to enhancing the Arabic, English and Hebrew speaking audience’s comprehensive understanding of the Middle East and of each other. Avi coauthored Separate and Unequal: Israel's Rule in East Jerusalem in 1999, and he wrote Ubrusi: The Novel in 2010.

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