Ron Dermer, set to replace Michael Oren as Israeli ambassador to Washington, was born and raised in Miami Beach. He attended the local RASG Hebrew Academy. His father, Jay Dermer, was mayor of Miami Beach in the late 1960s. His brother, David, won that post in 1984.
Dermer graduated from the Hebrew Academy in 1989 and then went on to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a master’s in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford. In 1995, while still a student at Oxford, he helped manage the Knesset campaign of Natan Sharansky’s Yisrael b’Aliyah party. He later became an adviser to Sharansky and co-wrote Sharansky’s bestselling treatise The Case for Democracy.
Dermer moved to Israel in 1996. He served as economic envoy to the United States from 2005 to 2008 and since 2009 has been a senior adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, acting as a liaison to the White House.
Leslie Harris, who was one of Dermer’s teachers at the Hebrew Academy, remembers Dermer as “a wonderful, caring and kind student with good friends in a close-knit group. He was always respectful to peers and teachers and a joy to teach. He is the same person today as a leader.”
She adds: “I know he will be a brilliant ambassador.”
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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