|Nir Barkat, mayor of Jerusalem in 2010 at Chatham House|
|Mayor of Jerusalem|
|Preceded by||Uri Lupolianski|
19 October 1959
|Alma mater||Hebrew University of Jerusalem|
Nir Barkat (Hebrew: ניר ברקת; born 19 October 1959) is an Israeli businessman and politician.
Nir Barkat was born in 1959 and raised in Jerusalem. His father, Zalman, was a professor of physics at the Hebrew University. He served in the Paratroopers Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces for six years (1977–1983), as well as reserve duty, and reached the rank of Major.
Barkat and his wife Beverly have three daughters.
Barkat was named the 43rd most influential Jewish person in 2013.
Barkat and his family live in the primarily secular upscale neighborhood of Beit HaKerem in Jerusalem.
Barkat started his career in the hi-tech industry by founding a software company called BRM in 1988, which specialized in antivirus software. Later the company became an incubator venture firm that invested in several companies such as Check Point and Backweb. He later helped found the social investment company IVN.
Barkat entered politics in January 2003 when he founded the party Yerushalayim Tatzli'ah ("Jerusalem Will Succeed") and ran in the Jerusalem mayoral race, gaining 43% of the vote losing to Uri Lupoliansky by double-digits. He became head of the opposition on the city council, until the 2008 election.
In 2007, Barkat took part in the Israeli version of Dragons' Den, the venture-capitalist television program, which consists of entrepreneurs pitching their ideas in order to secure investment from business experts.
Barkat ran again and won the election for mayor of Jerusalem on 11 November 2008 gaining 52% of the votes, defeating his main rival Meir Porush, who won 43% of the votes. Barkat is described as a secular politician, contrasting with both Lupoliansky and Porush, who are described as Haredi.
Barkat ran in the 2013 Jerusalem mayoral elections. He was endorsed by the Labor Party. In addition, he had the tacit support of Meretz, which withdrew its candidate, Pepe Alalu, in order not to steal votes away from Barkat. Preliminary results showed Barkat re-elected with 52% of the vote.