Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, wields influence on various issues related to Israel and the Diaspora, and is widely viewed as the global Jewish community’s most prominent statesman. The WJC advocates for the safety and prosperity of Jewish communities in 106 countries. As its president, Lauder meets with presidents, prime ministers, regents, and other figures at the highest levels of government – in many countries worldwide each year – to advance action on critical issues.
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He is leading the fight against extreme anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism at a time when these are on the rise in all countries, on many college campuses, and on most social media platforms. The WJC is regarded by many as the most vital international voice on these fronts.
An international philanthropist, investor, art collector, and former United States ambassador and NATO official, Lauder led the Jewish National Fund from 1997 to 2007 and has served as its board chair since. In Israel, Lauder, working with the Jewish National Fund-USA, launched two hubs of economic development – the Lauder Employment Center in the Negev; and, more recently, the Lauder Employment Center in the Galilee. These efforts have found jobs for thousands of young people in the North and in the Negev.
Lauder has been a strong advocate of a Marshall Plan for the Middle East, focused on spurring investments to create jobs and opportunity in the Palestinian territories, giving young people a chance at a strong, prosperous, optimistic future – instead of one defined by desperation. After WW II, the United States and much of Europe realized that a Germany with a thriving economy and solid external ties meant a long-term peaceful, safe, and unified West. They were right. Lauder believes such a plan promises a path to sustainable regional peace.