Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999-2001, as well as leader of the Labour Party until January 2011. Previously an Interior and Foreign Minister, Barak's term in office coincided with Israel's withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, as well as renewed efforts at peace talks with the PLO - including the Camp David 2000 Summit. Following his tenure as Prime Minister, Barak took time away from politics before returning as Defence Minister under Ehud Olmert. He since founded the Independence Party, a centrist-Zionist political movement. Barak studied physics and mathematics in both Jerusalem and Stanford, California, and had a distinguished 35-year career in the Israeli Defence Forces prior to entering politics - indeed, he is (jointly) the most decorated soldier in Israeli history.