Born February 20, 1944 Tel-Aviv, Israel.
After completing his military service, he studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv University until his graduation in Oriental Studies and History of the Jewish People.
In his youth and during his studies, Perry showed a remarkable musical talent. Among other places, he played in the Gadna Symphony Orchestra, the Voice of Israel, Jerusalem Orchestra, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, etc.
On March 1, 1966, he was recruited into Israel’s General Security Service (GSS) where he underwent training as a field officer in the Arab Sector. Initially he served as a field officer in the Northern District, and after the Six Day War he was transferred to the Samaria Area. In 1975 he was appointed head of the GSS Training Department. In 1978, he became the commander of the Northern District. Three years later he became commander of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria District – the largest and most troublesome of them all.
In May 1987, Perry was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief of the GSS. In April 1988, the then Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir appointed him as the director of the GSS.
During Perry’s tenure, the GSS underwent a process of thorough reorganization with preparations for contending with the uprising (Intifada). These were continued later in the wake of the Oslo agreements. That was the period characterized by operational flexibility, expansion of GSS, a change in concepts in response to the rapidly changing situation that necessitated swift and radical solution for problems emerging before the Service.
On March 1, 1995 then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin accepted Perry’s request to retire from his position.
On APRIL 2, 1995 Perry joined the business sector with his appointment as president and CEO of Cellcom Israel Ltd, which received Israel’s second license for the operation of a cellular network. Cellcom began operation on December 24, 1994, six months after obtaining its license.
Perry has built with his management team Cellcom to be the leading mobile operator in Israel, started with 100 employees and brought Cellcom to more than 4000 employees and 2.5 Million customers. After 8.5 years, on January 1st 2003, Jacob Perry decided to leave Cellcom.
Since then he acted as the chairman of the Board of Directors, as a Director or as an external consultant to several public companies. The main and outstanding among these activities was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. Additional roles that he held were, among others, the Chairman of Magal Security S3; the Chairman of the Board of “Lipman Engineering” (2003-2006) (Lipman has grown significantly and was sold ($800M) to Verifon U.S.A); and external consultant to “Aeronautics” manufacturers of drones.
Alongside his corporate activities, Mr Perry served (1995-2000) as Prime Minister’s coordinator on POWs and missing soldiers in action.
In 2012 Jacob Perry joined the newly established political party “Yesh Atid”. In January 2013 he was elected as a Knesset member, and in March 2013 he was appointed as Minister of Science, Technology and Space. Since the beginning of 2013, Mr Perry is heading the Ministerial Committee on Increasing Equality in Sharing the Burden, which has prepared a bill on this issue, that already passed its first reading.