Professor Shlomo Ben-Ami was educated at Tel Aviv University where he did his B.A and M.A in History and Hebrew Literature, and Oxford University (St.Antony’s College) where he received his D.Phil. He taught at the History Department of Tel Aviv University, and in 1982-1986 he headed the Graduate School of History at Tel Aviv University. In 1986 he became a full Professor and assumed The Elias Sourasky Chair for Spanish and Latin American Studies.
Professor Ben-Ami is the author of, among others, ¨The Origins of the Second Republic in Spain¨, and ¨Fascism from Above¨, both published by Oxford University Press. In 1980-1982, Professor Ben-Ami was a Visiting Fellow at St. Antony’s College in Oxford, and in 1992 he had a similar fellowship at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington.
In 1987, he was appointed as Israel’s first Ambassador to Spain, where he served until December 1991. He was a member of Israel’s delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference. In 1993, he headed the Israeli delegation at the Multilateral Talks on Refugees in the Middle East held in Ottawa, Canada.
In 1993, Professor Ben-Ami created The Curiel Center for International Studies at Tel Aviv University, which he headed until 1996. In the same year he was elected to the Knesset, where he served as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.
In 1999, Professor Ben-Ami was appointed as Minister of Public Security. In 2000, he became Foreign Minister. As such he conducted the secret negotiations with Abu Ala in Stockholm (The Swedish Channel). He participated with Prime Minister Barak in the Camp David Summit, after which he led the Israeli team in all the different phases of the negotiations with the Palestinians, including at Taba.
Professor Ben-Ami published in France "Quel avenir pour Israel?" (Presses Universitaires de France, 2001) analyzing the Israeli-Palestinian situation and Israel’s regional and international dilemmas. His thorough account of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during the last two years of President Clinton in office (the inside story of Camp David and Taba) was published in Hebrew: A Front Without a Homefront: A Voyage to the Boundaries of the Peace Process (Yedioth Ahatonoth, Tel-Aviv, 2004). His comprehensive book on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the quest for peace- "Scars of War, Wounds of Peace. The Arab-Israeli Tragedy"- was published by Oxford University Press (New York) and Weidenfeld and Nicolson (London) in 2005.
In 2006- 2010 Prof. Ben Ami served in the board of the International Crisis Group . He is now a member of the Crisis Group Senior Advisers. In 2009-2010 he was a member board of the Commission for Nuclear Non proliferation co-sponsored by the governments of Australia and Japan.