Gilad Erdan was born in Ashkelon, Israel on September 30, 1970. He completed his military service with the rank of Captain. An attorney by profession, he holds an L.L.B. from Bar Ilan University. Later, he earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Tel Aviv University.
Erdan began his political activity as an opponent of the Oslo Accords during his legal studies in the early 1990’s. He met and served as Advisor to MK Ariel Sharon (1996) and Advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and director of the department for public petitions of the Prime Minister’s Office (1996-1998).
He established and chaired the Lobby for Soldiers Missing in Action and served as chairman of Al Sam, an association that dealt with the drug problem. He was also Director General of the corporation for developing the institutionalization of the Center for Contractors and Builders.
A Member of the Knesset for Likud since 2003, Erdan has been a member of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice, Finance, Economic Affairs, Education, Culture, and Sports, State Control, Labor, Welfare, and Health, House, Foreign Workers, and Drug Abuse Committees, in addition to chairing the Economic Affairs Committee. Erdan is also an active lobbyist on such issues as the environment, closing the social gaps, and Ethiopian immigrants, and he chaired the Lobby for the War Against Road Accidents.
Erdan was one of the most outspoken opponents of Sharon’s Disengagement Plan. After Sharon left Likud to create the Kadima Party, Erdan remained in Likud and was reelected to the Knesset in 2006 and 2009. After the latter election, he was appointed Minister of Environmental Protection, and the Minister in charge of coordinating between the Government and the Knesset. In 2011, Erdan turned down an offer to become Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.
Following the 2013 election, Erdan was appointed the Minister of Communications and Minister of Home Front Defense. In April 2014, he resigned from the Home Front position after disagreements with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and the ministry was subsequently dissolved.
In November 2014, Erdan was appointed Minister of Interior. A year later, Netanyahu appointed Erdan as Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy where he became the government’s point man for combating efforts to delegitimize Israel, including the BDS movement. He also oversaw the National Police, Prison Service and the Fire & Rescue Services.
As Minister, Erdan established the Child Online Protection Bureau which created a hotline and intelligence agency to protect children and teens online. The first of its kind in the world, the hotline brought together an interdisciplinary team of experts from the Police, Justice Department, Welfare and Education Ministries to identify and prosecute predators, stop bullying, shaming, and online violence.
Following the 2020 election, he was appointed Minister of Regional Cooperation, but resigned that post when Netanyahu appointed him to be both Ambassador to the UN and to the United States. He would assume the latter position while keeping his UN position after the end of Ron Dermer’s term in January 2021. Only Abba Eban served in both positions simultaneously (1950-1959).
According to the coalition agreement, After Benny Gantz becomes Prime Minister in late 2021, he will have an opportunity to choose a new U.S. ambassador.
He is married and the father of four children.