David Harris, Vice Chair of Global Affairs, ISGAP

David Harris served as CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) from 1990 to 2022. The organization was described by The New York Times as “the dean of American Jewish organizations,” and by French President Nicolas Sarkozy as “the most effective, influential, and respected American Jewish organization.”

Harris was referred to by the late Israeli President and Nobel Laureate Shimon Peres as “the foreign minister of the Jewish people.” He is the most decorated Jewish organizational leader in U.S. history and is the recipient of four honorary doctorates, including the most recent one in 2022 from Brandeis University.

Throughout the past five decades, Harris played a pivotal role in shaping critical global issues — from the rescue of Ethiopian Jewry and Soviet Jewry (including two detentions by Soviet authorities) to helping expand Israel’s diplomatic footprint throughout the world, his contributions have been far-reaching. Harris has been committed to preserving Holocaust memory, exploring new relationships in the Arab and larger Muslim world, supporting an end to communism in Eastern Europe, advocating for NATO expansion, combatting global antisemitism, and promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding.
He is the author of several books, as well as hundreds of op-eds and articles on global Jewish issues in leading media outlets around the world.

Harris received his education at the University of Pennsylvania and London School of Economics. He also served as a Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University and both a Junior and Senior Associate at Oxford University.

He is the son of two Holocaust survivors and a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather.