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IDF Brig. Gen. (Res.) Assaf Orion Joins The Washington Institute as a Visiting Fellow


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assaf Orion, a retired Israeli brigadier general and defense strategist whose broad research scope ranges from relations with China to Israel’s regional political-military strategy and policy, has joined the Washington Institute as a visiting military fellow, the research organization announced today.

During his career in the Israel Defense Forces, Orion was responsible for strategic policy formulation, international cooperation, and military diplomacy. He also served as a liaison to neighboring militaries and peacekeeping forces in the region. Orion was most recently the head of the Strategic Division in the Planning Directorate of the IDF General Staff. In this position, he was in charge of communication with UNIFIL and the Lebanese army, led staff meetings with counterparts from the Pentagon and from other Western militaries, took part in the U.S.-Israel security dialogue, and represented the IDF in talks with the Palestinian Authority.

After retiring from the IDF in 2016, Orion joined the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv where he serves as senior research fellow, head of the countering Boycott, Divestment, and Delegitimization program, and director of its Israel-China program.

Orion holds a bachelor’s degree in Arabic language and literature and Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University, and a master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.