Originally from Ashdod, Israel, Ohad Elhelo served in the IDF Special Forces unit, Egoz, and was promoted to a commanding position in the counter-terrorism unit. He later became a combat intelligence officer and was nominated for the Head of Intelligence Prize for Creative Thinking.
After an honorable discharge, Ohad worked in advertising and completed one year of study at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya before transferring to Brandeis University as a prestigious Sylvia and Joseph Slifka Israeli Coexistence Scholar. At Brandeis, he studies economics and business, and established and oversaw The Kenya Challenge, a project in which Boston-area business students collaborate and compete to present a viable fiscal plan for a Kenyan woman hoping to open a pig farm.
Ohad continues to be engaged in Israeli issues in the U.S. He represents the Brandeis Endowment Fund at alumni and fundraising events, and established, in coordination with Taglit-Birthright Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a breakthrough venture that places Israelis attending U.S. schools as staff leaders on Birthright trips.
After his third involvement in a military operation in Gaza during Operation Protection Edge, Ohad was invited to speak at the “Stop the Terror” Israel solidarity rally in Boston, where he summoned thousands of individuals to rise to the challenge of building an “infrastructure of hope.” He has subsequently been interviewed by several domestic and international TV channels and was featured in The Boston Globe, The Times of Israel and Ynet, among others. He has a substantial social media following and his message has been shared tens of thousands of times in Israel and the U.S. He currently lectures for a number of organizations and was recently inducted into the College-100, a curated network that pairs emerging leaders with established titans to address some of our generation’s most pressing concerns.