Barkat was born on October 19, 1959, and raised in Jerusalem. From 1977 to 1983, Barkat performed his compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces as an infantry soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade. Upon completion of his service, Barkat earned his bachelor's degree in computer science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In 1988, Barkat founded the software company BRM, which specialized in antivirus software. The company would later become an incubator venture firm that invested in several companies such as Check Point and Backweb.
Barkat entered the Israeli political world in January 2003 when he founded the Jerusalem Will Succeed political party and ranin the Jerusalem mayoral race, eventually losing to Uri Lupoliansky but gaining enough support to be named head of the opposition on the city council.
In November 2008, Barkat ran again in the mayoral contest and won, gaining 52% of the votes in defeating Meir Porush and Lupoliansky.
He joined Likud following the 2022 election, was appointed Minister for Economy and Industry.
Barkat and his wife Beverly, an artist, have three daughters.
Photo courtesy of Chatham House