Danny Danon, elected on Monday as head of Likud's central committee, is one of the Israeli ruling party's most outspoken opponents of a Palestinian state and a champion of the settlement movement.
His victory gave the deputy defence minister control of the 3,600-member main institution of Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling rightwing party, propelling him into a vantage point to take over Likud after the premier.
Born in the central Israeli city of Ramat Gan in 1971, Danon was active in Betar, the international Zionist youth movement whose principles are at the foundation of Likud.
A reserve officer in the Israeli army, he entered the political arena at a young age after two years in Miami as an emissary of the Jewish Agency, working with the local Jewish community and encouraging emigration to Israel.
In 1996 he started off as a parliamentary assistant to Uzi Landau, who at the time was in Likud, and served as head of Betar's World Leadership, a key position that enabled Danon to make himself known in Likud circles and helped him win a seat in the Knesset in 2009.
Danon had earlier faced off against Netanyahu in the 2007 vote over the Likud helm, and has since positioned himself as a symbol of the internal opposition to the prime minister and Likud leader.
After serving as head of the parliamentary committee for immigration, absorption and diaspora affairs in the years 2009-2012, Danon took fifth place in the Likud primaries and was named deputy defence minister in the new government formed by Netanyahu at the beginning of 2013.
Conservative and close to the settler lobby, Danon claims to be the true voice of Likud voters who are disappointed by the direction Netanyahu has taken, particularly on the Palestinian issue.
Author of the English-language book "Israel: The Will to Prevail," in which he proposes an alternative to the two-state solution, Danon is opposed to making any territorial concessions in the West Bank.
Countering Netanyahu's remarks in support of a Palestinian state, Danon said recently in an interview that there was currently "no majority for a two-state solution" within the Likud.
"Today we're not fighting it (Netanyahu's declared goal of a Palestinian state), but if there will be a move to promote a two-state solution, you will see forces blocking it within the party and the government," Danon told The Times of Israel news website.
Danon is a regular fixture in the media, often appearing on television to speak about a wide range of issues including US-Israeli relations, on which he is a self-proclaimed expert.
He has openly stated his opposition to US President Barack Obama, saying that he has "not been a friend of Israel".
Unlike other party members, Danon does not hesitate to criticise Netanyahu, whom he accuses of speaking in favour of renewing negotiations with the Palestinians.
The well-groomed and ambitious father-of-three has emerged in recent years as one of the Likud's key figures.