Secretary of State John Kerry today named veteran Jewish political operative Ira N. Forman to be the administration’s Special Envoy and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
He brings to the job nearly 40 years of experience working at the intersection of the Jewish community and the political world, winning bipartisan respect. He served as the Jewish Outreach Director for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
He was a founder and later executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council from 1996 to 2010. During that period he also served as research director of the Solomon Project, which published the 2001 book “Jews in American Politics.” He also was co-editor and a chapter author.
Forman is a Cleveland native and magna cum laude graduate of Harvard. He was a legislative liaison and political director at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee from 1977 to 1981, when he left to go to Stanford University for his MBA. [Disclosure: Ira was on my staff when I was AIPAC’s legislative director so I can personally vouch for his ability, intellect and integrity.]
During the Clinton administration he served as director of congressional relations in the Office of Personnel Management.
Forman, 61, and his wife, Caryn Pass, have three children, and live in Washington, D.C.