Yossi Cohen

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Yossi Cohen
יוסי כהן
Yossi Cohen (cropped).jpg
Director of Mossad
Assumed office
January 2016
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Preceded by Tamir Pardo
9th National Security Advisor (Israel)
In office
August 2013 – January 2016
Preceded by Yaakov Amidror
Succeeded by Yaakov Nagal (Acting)

Yosef "Yossi" Meir Cohen (Hebrew: יוסי מאיר כהן‎; born 1961[1]) is the current Director of Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel.

Early life[edit]

Cohen was born in Jerusalem to a religious family and grew up in the Katamon neighborhood. His father, Leo, was a seventh-generation Israeli and Irgun veteran.[2] He worked at Bank Mizrahi, reaching a senior position there. His mother was a teacher.[3]


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, flanked by U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations Frank Lowenstein and Israeli National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, on 11 November 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Cohen is a 30-year-veteran of the Mossad and described as 'able to inspire the confidence of his charges'.[4] He ran agents in a number of countries over his career, and led the Mossad's collections division ("Tsomet").[5] From 2011 to 2013, he was the deputy director,[6] serving under Tamir Pardo. He was known publicly as "Y" (Hebrew: "י") in this post.[7] Cohen won the prestigious Israel Security Prize for his Mossad work.[8]

Intelligence reporter Ronen Bergman has written that Cohen has a reputation as a tough boss, that he speaks perfect English, French, and Arabic,[9] and is also a marathon runner.[10]

In August 2013 he was appointed the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel. In December 2015, Cohen was appointed to succeed Tamir Pardo as director of Mossad.[11][12] and assumed office in January 2016.

Cohen has four children.[8] One of his sons, Yonatan, is a former officer in Unit 8200 and has cerebral palsy.[13] He also has one granddaughter. He is nicknamed "the Model"[14] for his neat appearance.[4]


  1. ^ "Deputy Mossad chief appointed national security adviser". The Times of Israel. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Raoul Wootliff, "Netanyahu said set to tap Yossi Cohen as next Mossad chief", Times of Israel, 7 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  3. ^ Tom Dolev, "The next Mossad Director – Yossi Cohen", Jerusalem Online, 7 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b "The Israeli spymaster straight out of Le Carré". The Independent. 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2017-07-02. 
  5. ^ "Veteran Spy-Runner Moves from Mossad to be Netanyahu's Chief Advisor on National Security — Iran Options Are a Key Focus". IsraelSpy.com. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/03/30/jewish-100-2015-yossi-cohen-government/
  7. ^ Ronen Bergman (5 June 2011). "Mossad chief names new deputy". Ynetnews. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Herb Keinon (21 August 2013). "PM names deputy Mossad head as new National Security council chief". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "What the new boss of Mossad means for Israeli foreign policy". The Economist. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Is spy suited for role of Israeli premier's national security advisor?". i24news. 22 August 2013. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Yossi Cohen is next Mossad Director". Debka.com. 7 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "Yossi Cohen named new Mossad chief". The Jerusalem Post. 7 December 2015. 
  13. ^ Itamar Eichner (26 August 2013). "Newly appointed National Security Advisor Cohen's son reveals moving family story". Ynetnews. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  14. ^ Ben Lynfield, "Yossi Cohen: The Israeli spymaster straight out of Le Carré and Ian Fleming takes charge of Mossad", The Independent, 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.