Tzachi Hanegbi is Israel’s Minister for Regional Cooperation. In this role, he navigates the region’s complicated political, cultural and religious divisions to improve Israel’s position in the region and to work for better relations with the nations of the Middle East.
To this effort, he brings to bear a breadth and depth of experience that has seen him intimately involved in nearly every substantive foreign policy and national security issue the State of Israel has faced for more than three decades.
Minister Hanegbi has served as a member of the Knesset for twenty-eight years, including 10 years as a committee chairman and 11 years as a minister.
Hanegbi’s political career began in 1979 when he was elected as the head of the Hebrew University students’ union. He was then elected head of the National Student Union of Israel in 1980.
In 1984, he joined Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s staff as an advisor. When Shamir became Prime Minister in 1986, he named Hanegbi the Director of the Prime Minister’s bureau.
Minister Hanegbi was first elected to the Knesset in 1988 as a member of the Likud Party. In 1992 he became a committee chairman for the first time when he led the Economic Affairs Committee.
When Benjamin Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister in 1996, Hanegbi received his first Ministerial appointment as the Minister of Health. Later that year, he was appointed as the Minister of Justice and served in that role through the end of the 14th Knesset in 1999.
When Likud returned to power under Ariel Sharon in 2001, Hanegbi was appointed Minister of the Environment and, for a short time, he concurrently served as Minister of Transportation. In 2003, he was appointed Minister of Public Security in Ariel Sharon’s second government.
In 2004, Minister Hanegbi was appointed by Prime Minister Sharon to be Minister in the Prime Minister’s office in charge of Israel’s intelligence services as well as the strategic dialogue with the United States. In this role, he led Israel’s 2005 delegation to Washington D.C. for strategic discussions with the U.S. administration on the region’s political and security issues.
Hanegbi was appointed Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in 2006, a position he held until 2010.
In 2013, he served as Chairman of the House and Defense Budget Committees before being appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2014.
In 2015, Minister Hanegbi served simultaneously as Chairman of The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Chairman of the Likud faction and Chairman of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition.
In 2016, he was appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and then as the Minister for Regional Cooperation. In 2017, he also served as Acting Minister of Communications for three months.
Hanegbi served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces. He earned a B.A. in International Relations and an L.L.B from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1994, after receiving his L.L.B, he was accepted into the Israeli Bar Association.
Hanegbi is married to Randi and they have four children.