Ambassador Ido Aharoni
Global Distinguished Professor, NYU
Founder, Brand Israel
Ambassador Ido Aharoni serves as a global distinguished professor at New York University’s School of International Relations in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Ambassador Aharoni is a 25-year veteran of Israel’s Foreign service, a public diplomacy specialist, founder of the Brand Israel program and a well-known nation branding practitioner.
Ambassador Aharoni has been Israel’s longest serving consul-general in New York and the tristate area to date. He held that position for six years and oversaw the operations of Israel’s largest diplomatic mission worldwide. In 2002 Aharoni initiated the inclusion of Israel in the BAV (Brand Asset Valuator), the world’s largest database on brands maintained by advertising giant Young & Rubicam. Later that year he convened the Brand Israel Group, an independent group of marketing and branding specialists, thus creating the foundation to what would later become the Brand Israel Program.
In September 2007, Aharoni was appointed to serve as his nation’s first head of brand management. The program is designed to improve Israel’s positioning in the world by highlighting its relative advantages and increasing its relevance. The logic, according to Aharoni, is that “in today’s competitive world it is no less important for nations to be attractive than right.” “Every place has a DNA, a personality, just like a human being” Aharoni said. “No place, no person, no organization, wishes to be solely defined by its problems.”
In the spring of 2006 Aharoni was appointed to serve as a senior advisor and press secretary to Israel’s Foreign Minister and Vice Prime Minister Ms. Zippy Livni. In that capacity he introduced nation branding methods and country positioning strategies as pillars of Israel’s public diplomacy.
Over the years Aharoni received multiple awards recognizing his contribution in the field of public diplomacy from national Jewish organizations and other social-impact charities such as Back on my feet, The Albert Einstein Foundation, Israel Bonds Corporation, UJA of New York (United Jewish Appeal), the Association of American-Russian Jewry, AJC (American Jewish Committee), the Jewish National Fund, Beit Hatfusot Museum, WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organization), Hadassah Women’s Organization, Friends of Hebrew University of USA and Canada, Friends of Soroka Hospital, Friends of Tel Aviv University, IAC (Israeli American Council) and many others.
In 2013, the news magazine Algemeiner named Aharoni among ‘Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life” commonly known as the “Jewish 100.” In 2015 he was awarded “Honorary Governor” status by Tel Aviv University. In 2005 a communications studies scholarship, “Wings of Hope,” was named after him by the Yemenite-Jewish Federation of North America. In 1998 he was given the Community Leadership Award in Los Angeles by the American Friends of the Rabin Medical Center.
In September of 2016 Ambassador Aharoni was honored by the Jerusalem Foundation at the New York Metropolitan Museum. In the summer of 2016 Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio announced July 29th, 2016 as “Ambassador Ido Aharoni Day” in New York.