Nahman Shai
Nahman Shai is an Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i journalist and politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 for Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

. He previously worked as the IDF spokesman
IDF Spokesperson's Unit
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit is the unit in the IDF Operations Directorate, responsible for information policy and media relations. The unit is led by the IDF Spokesperson, a brigadier general and member of the General Staff, and by the Deputy Spokesperson, a colonel. The current Spokesperson is...



Born in Mevaseret Zion
Mevaseret Zion
Mevaseret Zion is a suburb of Jerusalem, Israel. Mevaseret Zion is composed of two distinct townships, Maoz Zion and Mevaseret Yerushalayim—under the jurisdiction of one local council. The newer neighborhoods of Mevaseret Zion were not part of either settlement.Mevaseret Zion is located on a...

, Shai gained a BA in history and political science and an MA in communications from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

, where he also studied in the School of Business Administration. He studied communications at the World Press Institute in Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, and worked as a research fellow in the Shorenstein Center in the JFK School of Government at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. As of 2007, he is studying for a PhD degree in Political Science at Bar Ilan University, researching Israel's Public Diplomacy.

During his service in the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 he served in a Nahal
Nahal is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. Historically, it refers to a program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas...

 unit, worked in Israel Army Radio
Israel Army Radio
Army Radio or Galei Tzahal known in Israel by its acronym Galatz , is a nationwide Israeli radio network operated by the Israel Defense Forces....

 as its commander and chief editor, and served as the IDF spokesman between 1988 and 1991, reaching the rank of Brigadier-General. During the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 of 1991, when Israel was targeted by Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i missiles, his job was to calm Israelis in sealed rooms. He is remembered for instructing concerned citizens to "drink water".

In 1979 he became press secretary for the Israeli delegation to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 in New York, and in 1981 he was named press consultant to Israel's Washington embassy. In 1991 he founded The Second Authority for Television and Radio and served as its CEO. He was also chairman of the board of directors of the Israel Television News Company, chairman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority
Israel Broadcasting Authority
Israel Broadcasting Authority is Israel's state broadcasting network.It grew out of the radio station Kol Yisrael, which made its first broadcast as an independent station on . The name of the organisation operating Kol Yisrael was changed to Israel Broadcasting Service in 1951...

 (IBA) and Director General of the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport. He later served as Senior Vice-President of United Jewish Communities
United Jewish Communities
The Jewish Federations of North America , is an American Jewish umbrella organization representing 157 Jewish Federations and the Network of Independent Communities, 400 smaller Jewish communities across North America. The JFNA was formed from the 1999 merger of the United Jewish Appeal, the...

 (UJC ) and Director-General of UJC Israel.

Prior to the 2009 elections
Israeli legislative election, 2009
Elections for the 18th Knesset were held in Israel on 10 February 2009. These elections became necessary due to the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as leader of the Kadima party, and the failure of his successor, Tzipi Livni, to form a coalition government...

 he joined the Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

 party, saying "I think there is a time to come down from the stands and enter the playing field. I know the field well and I have been involved in many ways, but I decided this time to become a player". Kadima Chairwoman, Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni
Tzipporah Malkah "Tzipi" Livni is an Israeli lawyer and politician. She is the current Israeli Opposition Leader and leader of Kadima, the largest party in the Knesset. Raised an ardent nationalist, Livni has become one of her nation's leading voices for the two-state solution. In Israel she has...

, presented Shai at Kadima's Knesset faction, saying he was "part of the attractive face Kadima wants to show the electorate" and that he would be able to contribute to Kadima on issues pertaining to the Jewish world, Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 and the Diaspora. Shai was placed eighteenth on the party list and entered the Knesset as the party won 28 seats.

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