Ya'akov Peri (Hebrew: יעקב פרי, born 20 February 1944) is a former head of the Israeli security agency Shin Bet and currently a politician for Yesh Atid. He headed Shin Bet between 1988 and 1994, after which he entered the business world.
Peri was born in Tel Aviv during the Mandate era. After his national service he attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University, gaining a BA in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In 1966 he joined Shin Bet, and initially trained to be a field officer working in the Arab sector. In 1972 he was appointed to a senior position in the Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria Command, and in 1975 became head of the Shin Bet's training division. In 1978 he became head of its Northern Command, before returning to the Jerusalem, Judah and Samaria Command to head it in 1981. In 1987 he became Deputy Director of the Shin Bet, before becoming Director the following year.
During his period in charge, he introduced structural changes to address problems that arose during the First Intifada, and address with the new security situation in Israel in the wake of the Oslo Accords. In 1994 he took leave to study at Harvard University, where he obtained a degree in economics and business management. The following year he retired from Shin Bet. He later went into business, and also taught at Harvard. He was CEO of Cellcom Israel from 1995–2003.
In 2005, he was voted the 125th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis. In 2012 he featured in a documentary film, The Gatekeepers and discussed the main events of his tenure in the Shin Bet.
External links