Ksenia Svetlova was born in Moscow in 1977 and immigrated to Israel at the age of 14 with her mother and grandmother. She studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a bachelor’s degree in media and the Middle East, and a master’s degree in the Middle East.
Ksenia Svetlova is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs, an expert on radical Islam and modern Egypt. Svetlova is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), and Senior Policy Fellow at the “Mitvim” Institute for Foreign Policy.
Svetlova was a member of the 20th Knesset (the Israeli parliament) on behalf of the Zionist Union coalition. In her time at the Israeli parliament, Ksenia Svetlova was member of the Foreign affairs and Defense and Aliyah and Absorption committees, as well as heading three parliamentary caucuses: for the Preservation of the Culture of Jews from Islamic Countries, a caucus for Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression, and a caucus for Strengthening Relations between the State of Israel and the Kurdish people.
Before the 2015 Knesset elections, Ksenia Svetlova worked as a writer and commentator on Arab Affairs for Channel Nine, a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, BBC, Kommersant (Russia), and others. Through her journalistic work, she has visited many Arab countries, including Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, and Malaysia. She covered the war in Iraq from a U.S. battleship in the Persian Gulf, has many years of experience working in the Palestinian territories, and has published exclusive articles from Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution.