Assaf Orion

Brigadier general (Res.) Assaf Orion joined INSS in late 2015 as a senior research fellow, following a long career in the IDF. He is currently directing the Institute’s research program on Israel-China, heading the BDS and de-legitimization program, and participating in the programs on Syria and Israel-Palestinians. In his final posting in the IDF, Brig. Gen. Orion served as head of Strategic Division in the Planning Directorate in the IDF General Staff (2010-2015), responsible for strategic planning and policy formulation, international cooperation and military diplomacy, and liaison to neighboring militaries and peacekeeping forces in the region. 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 US-Israel security dialogue, and represented the IDF in talks with the Palestinians. Prior to that he headed two departments in the Planning Directorate, following more than two decades in command and intelligence position in Israel’s National SIGINT Unit 8200 and Israeli Defense Intelligence, in SIGINT, OSINT, and international intelligence cooperation. Brig. Gen. Orion holds a B.A. in Arabic language and literature and Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University (1992), and an M.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2000), the Advanced Course on Operational Art, and the International Intelligence Directors’ Course (DISC) in Great Britain (2005). His fields of interest include national and regional security, applied strategy, combined approaches, learning systems and leadership challenges in a fast changing world.

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