Zalman Shoval was born in 1930.
After his education in Tel Aviv, Mr. Shoval went to the United States for his undergraduate studies, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of California at Berkeley. He then attended the Graduate Institute of International Studies at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, obtaining an advanced degree in Political Science and International Relations.
He first served in the Foreign Ministry from 1955 to 1957 when he left Government service and went into banking. In 1970 he entered the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), fisrt from 1970 – 1981, representing the independent RAFI Party set up by the late David Ben-Gurion, and later the newly created “Likud.” He was again elected in 1988 to the 12th Knesset on the Likud list, serving as a Member of the Knesset Foreign and Security Affairs Committee and Economics Committee. He resigned from the Knesset in 1990 upon his appointment to the post of Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Shoval participated in the Madrid Peace Conference and subsequently served as a member of the Israeli team negotiating with Jordanian and Palestinian delegations.
Before that, in 1977 he served as a member of Israel’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, and three years later he represented the Knesset at the annual meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
In April 1978 the late Moshe Dayan, then Foreign Minister, recalled Mr. Shoval to the Foreign Ministry, appointing him Head of Israel’s Foreign Information Activities – a post in which he served until after the Camp David Conference and the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.
Since the late fifties, Ambassador Shoval has also been active in the economic life of Israel, mainly in banking, finance and industry – for a number of years he also was Chairman of the Council of the Israeli Bankers’ Association.
After concluding his first term as Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Shoval resumed his business activities, including, inter alia, the position of Chairman of the “Bank of Jerusalem, Ltd.,” which specializes in mortgage banking, private banking and securities business, and “Export Investment Corp. Ltd.,” – both listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, as well as “INVENTECH,” a high-tech Venture Capital Company, and Israel’s second direct insurance company. Mr. Shoval was, till his recent re-appointment as Ambassador, Chairman of the New Israel Opera.
Mr. Shoval, together with a number of friends, in 1977 founded the “Moshe Dayan Public Forum for Political and Social Questions,” a non-partisan public affairs society, and in 1983 he was among the founders of the “Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies” at Tel Aviv University, and is currently a member of its Board of Trustees.
He has written numerous articles in Hebrew, English, French and German on political, historical and economic topics, published in various Israeli and foreign newspapers and periodicals.
Ambassador Shoval was a member of all the Likud’s Central Bodies. Until the elections of 1996 he was Head of the Foreign Relations Bureau of the Party. In December 1997, he was unanimously elected as President of the “World Likud,” a post from which he has now resigned.
In July of 1998 Mr. Shoval was, for the second time, appointed to the post of Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. In February of 1993, Mr. Shoval had concluded his previous tenure as Israel’s Ambassador to Washington (1990 – 1993).
In November 2003, Shoval was elected President of the Israel America Chamber of Commerce.
He holds the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel (res.) in the I.D.F.
Mr. Shoval is married to Kena (nee Mayer) and they have three children, Michal, Yael and Gideon, and three grandchildren.
Sources: Israeli Embassy