Ari Zev currently serves as the Director of Administration of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. He has held leadership positions with the Shoah Foundation Institute since its inception in 1994 when he was the Institute’s Director of Research and Training.
Zev spearheaded the Foundation’s outreach to communities in countries around the world so that Holocaust survivors and witnesses would have the opportunity to come forward to offer their testimonies. Working with leading scholars, historians, oral history projects, and Holocaust centers, Zev supervised the development of the Shoah Foundation’s interviewer methodology and its international series of training sessions in 18 countries for more than 2,000 interviewers.
In 1996, Zev became the Foundation’s Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for the organization’s day-to-day operations, staff, and volunteers; at the height of its production, the organization numbered over 150 employees at its Los Angeles headquarters, plus an international staff. Zev then served as Acting President and CEO from 1999-2000 as the Foundation prepared to transition from an international collection project to an educational institution.
Zev earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Jerusalem, Israel. Prior to joining the Shoah Foundation Institute in 1994, Zev was an educator at schools and synagogues in the Los Angeles area, including Sinai Temple, Sinai Akiba Academy Day School, and Stephen S. Wise Temple and managed a multitude of programs, working closely with hundreds of students and families throughout the community.