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In 1998, Ron Huldai was elected the ninth Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, the first Modern Hebrew city, founded in 1909. He was reelected for his third consecutive five-year term in 2008.
Huldai’s vision for Tel Aviv-Yafo is to further solidify the city as the epicenter of pluralism and liberalism, higher education, commerce, scientific achievement, quality of life and the focal point of Israeli art and culture. He recently launched Tel Aviv Global City, a 10-year process to further the city's international positioning. This strategic plan aims at positioning Greater Tel Aviv as an international economic center for innovative and technological industries, and as an international cultural center.
The accomplishments of Huldai’s administration have had a demonstrable impact on the city; most significantly, Mayor Huldai has eliminated the municipal deficit and has streamlined the city's workforce. In light of this economic turn-around, Standard and Poor’s has affirmed the city the coveted AAA Stable rating. Tel Aviv-Yafo is the cultural center of Israel and Mayor Huldai has made it a priority to upgrade facilities. Twenty mega projects were carried out over the course of a decade, in preparation for the city’s centennial anniversary in 2009, requiring an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars.
In 2012 the city will celebrate Art Year, to mark the inauguration of three major cultural projects: the New Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the renovated Habima National Theater and the new wing of the Tel Aviv Cinemateque.
Ron Huldai was born in 1944 and raised in Kibbutz Hulda. He joined the Israeli Air Force in 1963 and served as a combat pilot for 26 years, including during the Six Day and Yom Kippur Wars. He served as commander of two of Israel’s largest air force bases and retired from the Israeli Air Force with the rank of Brigadier General.
After his military service, Huldai had the opportunity to pursue his life-long dream. Following in the footsteps of his parents, who were educators, he became principal of the renowned Gymnasia Herzlyia, among Israel’s most prestigious high schools. During his tenure he transformed a much-deteriorated institution into a pedagogical showcase of educational and organizational excellence.
Mayor Ron Huldai is married to Yael, and they have three children and seven grandchildren. He enjoys cycling along the city’s beachfront, is an avid reader, an amateur musician and frequent sampler of the city's cultural offerings.