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Israeli Business Leader Biran to Speak at NYU Wagner Feb. 28; Calls for “Marshall Plan” to Ease Egypt’s Transition

February 22, 2011

Shraga Biran, an Israeli business leader and lawyer whose work in Egypt extends back to the 1980s, maintains that western Europe and the United States owe Egypt a 21st-century Marshall Plan in order to both spur economic development and ease social tensions, which would help facilitate a democratic form of government.

Biran will be part of a panel discussion, “Opportunism: Transforming the World Economy, One Idea at a Time,” on Monday, February 28, 8:30-10 a.m., at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (The Puck Building, The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, 295 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor). Other panelists include New York Times editorial page writer Eduardo Porter, author of The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do, and Paul Elie, a senior editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall will introduce the panelists.

Reporters wishing to attend must RSVP to James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or

Biran negotiated an agreement in the late 1980s among his clients, the owners of the hotel Taba Sonesta and the state of Israel, and the Egyptian government that settled a territorial dispute in Taba, a resort town north of the Red Sea on the Israeli-Egyptian border. Biran proposed a unique legal structure for the area, creating a political and economic solution that has become an oft-cited case in resolving territorial disputes in the region.

Biran’s Opportunism: How to Change the World One Idea at a Time was recently published in English by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. In it, he posits that today’s challenge to government and the private sector is to both protect the creators of a new kind of wealth—that created by social and intellectual capital—and to extend to all individuals the rights and stability necessary to own whatever opportunities they create as their private property. 

Biran is the founder and owner of one of Israel’s leading law firms, and entrepreneur specializing in international real estate and energy industries. He has worked for decades for the advancement of social, economic, and political platforms. Biran’s first book, In Tears Shall They Reap, was published in 1999.

The event is presented by NYU Wagner and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.


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Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

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Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

Israeli Business Leader Biran to Speak at Wagner Feb. 28; Calls for “Marshall Plan” to Ease Egypt’s Transition

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