Chairwoman of the TAU Board of Governors
Dafna Meitar Nechmad is a TAU alumna and longtime social investor with extensive philanthropic experience. She manages the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund, established by her parents Zvi and Ofra Meitar, which supports cultural and educational projects in Israel and overseas. Following a flourishing law career she turned her time and attention to the nonprofit sector. Since 2003, Ms. Meitar Nechmad has served as President of Meitar Collection, a private company with an archive of more than 150,000 photographs taken by photographers in Israel since 1940. The company preserves and catalogues photographs, and makes them available to museums, publishers and producers. Her various additional roles include, member of the Managing Committee of the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Law Studies at TAU’s Buchman Law School; board member of JFN – Jewish Funders Network; a member of Committed to Give, and a Governor of Tel Aviv University. Additionally, she is a board member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. From 1989 to 2006, she was a partner at Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal, the largest law firm in Israel, where she specialized in commercial, telecommunications and corporate law. Ms. Meitar Nechmad holds an LLB, a BA in political science, and an MA in political communications, all from Tel Aviv University. She lives in Tel Aviv and is married with three daughters and one grandson.
Chairman of the Executive Council
Eli Gelman has been serving as Chairman of Tel Aviv University’s Executive Council since December 27, 2018. Prior to that, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amdocs Management Limited (a software company of 25,000 employees leading the customer experience domain of the communication and media space). Mr. Gelman’s career at Amdocs spanned more than 30 years, including operations, software development and sales alongside strategy and corporate development. Mr. Gelman has been a member of Amdocs Board of Directors since 2002, and was also a Board Member and Chairman of Retalix, a provider of software solutions to retailers and distributors worldwide. Mr. Gelman holds a B.Sc. in electronic engineering with a specialization in communication and computers from the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology. His 5 years of service in the Israel Defense Forces included a leadership role in developing frequency-hopping encrypted communication gear during the 1980s which is still in use today. In his charitable work, Mr. Gelman has devoted significant personal time to youth education.
President of Tel Aviv University
Prof. Ariel Porat was elected the ninth President of Tel Aviv University in May 2019. After receiving his LLB degree and direct JSD degree at TAU, he performed post-doctoral studies at Yale Law School. In 1990, he joined TAU’s Buchmann Faculty of Law, where he is the incumbent of the Alain Poher Chair in Private Law. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Prof. Porat’s main research interests are torts, contract law and the economic analysis of the law, with many books and articles published in these areas. He served for 15 years as an Associate Member and Fischel-Neil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago (2003-2019). He was also Visiting Professor at Stanford University, and at the Universities of New York, Columbia, Berkeley, Virginia and Toronto. He was a member of the Board of the American Law and Economics Association for three years, and is a member of the American Law Institute. From 2002 to 2006, Prof. Porat served as Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law, during which he introduced joint LLM programs together with UC Berkeley and Northwestern University. He also founded an admittance program for students from Israel’s geographic and social periphery, which was initially at the Law Faculty and thereafter adopted throughout the University. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Prof. Porat was Director of the Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law (1997-2002), where he founded the journal Theoretical Inquiries in Law, today ranked as one of the world’s leading journals in the field of law theory. Prof. Porat has been the recipient of numerous honors, among them the EMET Prize, Chesin Prize, Zeltner Prize and Zusman Prize.
Thurs. May 18
Prof. Mark Shtaif is the Rector of Tel Aviv University. After completing his BSc, MSc, and DSc degrees in Electrical Engineering at the Technion in 1997, he joined the research team of AT&T Labs in New Jersey as a senior and then principal member of technical staff, studying communication technologies. In 2002 he joined the Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University and served as the head of the School of Electrical Engineering from 2017 to 2020. Prof. Shtaif is a communications scientist working mostly in the fields of fiber optics and optical communication systems, focusing on the integration of optics, quantum theory, nonlinear systems, communications theory, information theory, and signal processing. Over the years he has contributed to a variety of topics including optical amplification, analysis of nonlinear propagation, polarization-related phenomena, analysis of noise and signal detection, quantum information in fiber systems, and fundamental limits to optical communications. Most notable of late is his contribution to the analysis of polarization-dependent loss in fiber communications, to the nonlinear-noise model in fiber-optic transmission, to the theory of space-division multiplexed communications, and to effective phase reconstruction by means of the Kramers-Kronig receiver. Professor Shtaif is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the IEEE.
Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Governors
Thurs. May 18
Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University. He is Chairman of the Frenkel-Zuckerman Institute for Global Economics, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty (G-30) which is a private, nonprofit, Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs. He recently retired from his position as Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and member of the J.P. Morgan International Council. Prof. Frenkel served from 2001 to 2011 as Chairman and CEO of the G-30, from 2004 to 2009 as Vice Chairman of American International Group, Inc., and from 2000 to 2004 as Chairman of Merrill Lynch International, as well as Chairman of Merrill Lynch’s Sovereign Advisory and Global Financial Institutions Groups. Between 1991 and 2000 he served two terms as the Governor of the Bank of Israel. He is credited with reducing inflation in Israel and achieving price stability, liberalizing Israel’s financial markets, removing foreign exchange controls, and integrating the Israeli economy into the global financial system. Between 1987 and 1991, he was the Economic Counselor and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund, and from 1973 to 1987 he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago where he held the position of the David Rockefeller Professor of International Economics and served as Editor of the Journal of Political Economy. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Economic Club, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research, of the Japan Society, and of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a member of the Trilateral Commission, a member of the Boards of the Aspen Institute Italia and The Council for the US and Italy, a member of Temasek International Panel (TIP), and a member of the International Advisory Council of China Development Bank. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Boston Properties, Inc. and Loews Corporation. Prof. Frenkel is a Laureate of the 2002 Israel Prize in Economics, a recipient of the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University, the Hugo Ramniceanu Prize for Economics from Tel Aviv University, the Czech Republic’s Karel Englis Prize in Economics, the “Order de Mayo al Merito” (the rank of Gran Cruz) decoration from the Government of Argentina, the “Order of Merit” (the rank of Cavaliere di Gran Croce) decoration from the Republic of Italy, and the YIVO Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a recipient of several honorary doctorates and other decorations and awards, including the 1993 Economic Policy Award by Emerging Markets and the 1997 Central Banker of the Year Award by Euromoney. Prof. Frenkel previously served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (1995-1996), as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1999-2000), as Governor of the IMF and Alternate Governor of the World Bank for Israel (1991-2000), and a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1986-2014). Prof. Frenkel is the author of numerous books and articles in the fields of international economics and macro-economics. He holds a BA in economics and political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MA and PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.
TAU Campaign Chair
Dr. Anita Friedman has a distinguished record of public service, both as a professional and as a volunteer leader. Her roles in the Jewish and general communities extend from the Bay Area to the national and international arenas. Professionally, Dr. Friedman heads Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the largest and oldest family service institutions in the United States. JFCS programs are internationally distinguished for their excellence, innovation, and compassion. As a speaker, lecturer, and author, Dr. Friedman’s expertise includes social policy and programming for diverse populations that include children, youth, families, and the aged; the financing of health and human services; and the development of innovative business and social enterprise models. Dr. Friedman’s expertise also includes Holocaust and genocide education. She is the editor of the recently published Rywka’s Diary (Harper), now translated into 15 languages and the subject of a forthcoming film. Dr. Friedman has served on various local, state, national, and international commissions, including as a longtime Commissioner of the San Francisco Human Services Commission, overseeing the City and County of San Francisco’s social welfare budget. As a policy consultant to the State of Israel Ministry of Social Affairs, she has advised on effective policy strategies for human service provision and immigrant absorption. She is currently a trustee on the national boards for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture and the Koret Foundation, where she serves as President of the Board. Dr. Friedman’s numerous awards include the 2015 San Francisco Business Times’ “Most Influential Woman in Business Award,” the State of California’s Family Service Council Distinguished Leadership Award, the International Louis Kraft Award, the National Myrtle Wreath Award, Jewish Community Federation’s Professional of the Year, the Raoul Wallenberg Club Public Service Advocate Award, and A Wider Bridge’s Leadership Honor.
Vice President for Research and Development
Prof. Dan Peer is Vice President for Research and Development as well as Director of the Laboratory of Precision Nanomedicine at Tel Aviv University. He is the Founder and Managing Director of the SPARK Tel Aviv, Center for Translational Medicine. Moreover, Prof. Peer is on the Scientific Advisory Board of numerous international companies and an invited keynote speaker at many conferences. Prof. Peer’s work was among the first to demonstrate systemic delivery of RNA molecules using targeted nanocarriers to the immune system and he pioneered the use of RNA interference for drug discovery in immune cells. In addition, his lab was the first to show systemic, cell- specific delivery of modified mRNA expressing therapeutic proteins that has enormous implications in cancer, inflammation and infectious diseases. Prof. Peer is one of the pioneers in the use of molecular medicines (gene silencing, gene expression and gene editing) for therapeutics and diseases management.
Chairperson of the Student Union
Daniel Zilber has been actively involved in the Tel Aviv University Students Union for the past three years, having recently assumed its leadership as Chairwoman. Previously she held the titles of Coordinator, Deputy Head, and Deputy Chairperson. She studies philosophy and psychological sciences at the Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences.
Friday, May 19
Ido Aharoni Aronoff is an Israeli diplomat, writer, lecturer, consultant and investor. He has served as a member of Israel’s Foreign Service for 25 years and held all of his overseas postings in the Usa (New York and Los Angeles). He is Israel’s longest serving consul-general in New York (2010-2016). He is the founder of the Brand Israel Program and a well-known country branding specialist. He has served on the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University since 2015 and has been a visiting lecturer at the University’s Coller School of Management since 2018.
School of Electrical Engineering, Fleischman Faculty of Engineering
Thurs. May 18
Prof. Meir Ariel has pursued R&D in the fields of signal processing, wireless communications and space technologies for over thirty years, and has vast experience in managing scientific institutions and companies both in industry and the public sector. From 1999 to 2013, he served as CEO of CUTeDSP (Computerized Vision), Vitelix (VOIP) and TMGP (FinTech). Since 2013, he has been Director General of the Herzliya Science Center, establishing R&D centers for outstanding students in Israel’s social and geographical periphery and encouraging them to engage in high-level space research. Since 2014, Prof. Ariel has supervised the construction and launch of 14 scientific satellites. In 2018, he established the TAU Center for Nanosatellites with the support of the Ministry of Defense, which includes the University’s TAUSAT series for monitoring the space environment and optical communications. Prof. Ariel is a member of several public commissions in defense, science, and education, including the National Infrastructure Committee, the Steering Committee for Education in the Ministry of Science and Technology and the International Space Research Committee. A holder of 14 patents in the field of signal processing, he received the “Marco Polo Society Award for Cultural, Technological and Civic Achievements” and, in 2016, was selected as one of the 60 all-time Israeli pioneering inventors by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Prof. Ariel earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering, and his PhD in Algebraic Group Theory with implementations to Fast Decoding Algorithms, from Tel Aviv University. Prof. Ariel earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering, and his PhD in Algebraic Group Theory with implementations to Fast Decoding Algorithms, from Tel Aviv University.
School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience
Thurs. May 18
Dr. Boaz Barak studies the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for abnormal social and anxiety-like behaviors in genetic neuropsychiatric disorders such as Williams Syndrome and autism. His lab’s special interests focus on neurogenetics and neurodevelopmental aspects of psychiatric disorders, myelin and behavior interplay, molecular processes, cell signaling and therapeutic approaches. Dr. Barak completed his post-doctoral training at MIT and his PhD on synaptic transmission at TAU under the supervision of Prof. Uri Ashery. He has been awarded various honors, among them the Alon Fellowship for Outstanding Young Faculty and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies Excellence Award. His scientific papers have been published in world-leading journals such as Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Molecular Psychiatry, eLife, PNAS and others.
Vice President of Research, William Davidson Senior Fellow for Economic Policy, Israeli Democracy Institute
Thurs. May 18
Prof. Karnit Flug has been Vice President of Research and the William Davidson Senior Fellow for Economic Policy at the Israeli Democracy Institute since June 2019, and a professor of economics at the Department of Economics at the Hebrew University since March 2019. She completed her five-year term as Governor of the Bank of Israel in November 2018. Prior to her appointment as Governor, she was the Bank of Israel’s Deputy Governor for two years, following her ten years as the Director of the Research Department and Chief Economist of the Bank. She also served on numerous public and government committees, including the Committee on Increasing Competitiveness in the Economy, the Committee for Social and Economic Change ("the Trajtenberg Committee"), and a committee on the Defense Budget. Prof. Flug received her B.A. and M.A. in Economics from The Hebrew University and her Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University in 1985. In 2018, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University and in March 2019, received the “Governor of the Year" Award for 2018 by the Central Banking Publication. In each of her five years as Governor of the Bank of Israel, Prof. Flug was ranked among the top 10 central bankers in the world by Global Finance magazine.
Dean of Innovation in Teaching & Learning
Thurs. May 18
Liat Kishon-Rabin is a Full Professor of Communication Disorders at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. In 2020, she was appointed Dean of Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Tel Aviv University where she helps set the strategy in teaching methodologies. Previous to her current role, she headed the Department of Communication Disorders and the Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Prof. Kishon-Rabin was awarded a Ph.D. degree (1990) in psychoacoustics from City University of New York. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters in speech science, psychoacoustics, auditory plasticity, and the effects of hearing loss and cochlear implants on developing functional hearing, speech perception, and production across the lifespan. The British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG) acknowledged her research and contribution to cochlear implants, choosing her as the first Israeli to be awarded the Graham Fraser Memorial Lecture in 2017. She has also been awarded several national and international grants, including the USA-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), and delivered keynote addresses on numerous occasions. In addition to her research, Prof. Kishon-Rabin heads a TAU outreach to the community program, which provides early communication intervention to infants from disadvantaged families to close linguistic gaps. Prof. Kishon-Rabin is currently the president of the European Federations of Auditory Societies (EFAS), an associate editor for the International Journal of Audiology.
Founder & Chair of the Board, Vibe Israel
Friday May 19
Joanna Landau, a globally-recognized specialist in country branding and marketing influencer, is the Founder and Chair of the Board of Vibe Israel, a nonprofit that harnesses the power of digital media to connect the Next Generation with Israel. She recently co-authored the best-selling book, “Ethical Tribing: Connecting the Next Generation to Israel in the Digital Era”. Joanna is a Governor of Tel Aviv University; a director of Tel Aviv Global & Tourism; and a member of the International Education Committee of Taglit Birthright Israel. In 2017, Joanna was chosen by Forbes Israel as one of the fifty most influential women in Israel, and in 2022 she was the Forum Devorah Foreign Policy Award recipient.
School of Psychological Sciences, Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences
Thurs. May 18
Prof. Nira Liberman is a professor of psychology studying human motivation, social cognition, motivation, goal striving, self-regulation and decision making. In 2010, she authored the influential Construal Level Theory, which describes the effects of psychological distance on the way humans represent information, evaluate alternatives and make choices. She also studies the abnormal patterns of action control and decisions among people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Prof. Liberman is a triple alumna of TAU, having completed her BA in psychology and comparative literature, MA in social psychology and PhD in social psychology at the University. In 2001, following her post-doctoral studies at Columbia University and serving as an assistant professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, she returned to TAU as a faculty member. Prof. Liberman has received numerous accolades for her research, among them the Career Trajectory Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, the Kadar Award for Excellence in Research and the Rothschild Award for Excellence in Research. She is a fellow of the Association of Psychological Sciences and a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Implant dentistry pioneer and entrepreneur
Tues. May 16
Dr. Gerald A. Niznick, DMD MSD, was the founder and President of the Core-Vent and Paragon Dental Implant Companies. Known as “the godfather of implant dentistry,” Niznick holds 33 US dental implant patents, including the 1986 internal conical connection that has become the cornerstone of modern implant design. In 2004, he founded Implant Direct, creating what is now known as the “value segment” of the dental implant industry. He served as the company’s president until his retirement in 2013. In March 2022, he founded his fourth implant company, Paragon Implant Co. and, as of December 2022, has filed 3 new patent applications on implant-related designs. A graduate of the University of Manitoba Dental School, later renamed the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, Niznick earned a master's degree in prosthodontics at Indiana University in 1968. He has received Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Manitoba and Tel Aviv University, as well as the Goldman/Gershkoff award from AAID, research awards from ICOI and the US Veterans Administration, and the Alpha Omega Lifetime Achievement Medal for his contributions to implant dentistry. He established the Gerald A. Niznick Chair of Implant Dentistry at TAU’s Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine.
Former Director of the Mossad
Wed. May 17, 2:15pm
Mr. Pardo served in the Mossad for 43 years, having served as its director from 2011 to 2016. After completing his military service, Pardo joined the Mossad in 1980, and served in entry-level technical positions. He took part in several classified operations, and was awarded the Israel Security Prize three times. After his retirement, Mr. Pardo entered the business world, involved in cyber, medicine, energy and logistics. He is also a Lamont Lecturer at Harvard University.
School of Mechanical Engineering, Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering
Thurs. May 18
Dr. Bat-El Pinchasik is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering whose interests lie in biomimetics, interfacial phenomena, insect biomechanics, underwater adhesion, locomotion bio-inspired materials and wetting phenomena. Dr. Pinchasik graduated from the Technion in 2010 with bachelor degrees in both Materials Engineering and Physics. She pursued her master’s research Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, graduating with a degree in Polymer Science that was awarded jointly with Potsdam University, Humboldt University, Technical and Free Universities in Berlin. She then continued to complete both her doctoral degree and post-doctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute, before joining TAU.
Department of Middle Eastern and African History, Entin Faculty of Humanities
Wed. May 17
Prof. Uzi Rabi is the Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies and Senior Researcher at the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies at TAU. His research focuses on the modern history and evolution of states and societies in the Middle East, Iranian-Arab relations, oil and politics in the Middle East, and Sunni-Shi’i dynamics. Prof. Rabi is regularly invited to address the Knesset and diverse governmental offices on matters of national and regional importance. Professor Rabi frequently provides expert commentary and analysis on a number of international and Israeli news outlets, including Arabic language television channels. During “Operation Protective Edge,” Rabi was a permanent fixture in both the Israeli and international media. Prof. Rabi has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, including Middle Eastern Studies, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, the Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and Otre-Terre – Revue Europeene de Geopolitique.
School of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences
Thurs. May 18
Dr. Gal Ribak heads the Biomechanics of Animal Locomotion Laboratory, serves as Academic Director of the I. Meier Segals Garden for Zoological Research, and is Curator of Beetles at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, all at TAU. His team draws on biology and engineering approaches to understand the complex interaction between animals and the physical flows surrounding them. A major focus of the group is unraveling the aerodynamics and biomechanical phenomena that make insects outstanding flyers. Dr. Ribak holds a BSc in Biology from the Technion and an MSc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For his PhD he returned to the Technion to study the hydrodynamics and biomechanics of underwater swimming in avian divers. Prior to joining TAU, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of South Dakota and a Senior Research Associate at the Technion’s Autonomous System Program, working on insect-inspired robotics.
Architect, urban planner, educator, theorist and author
Tues. May 16
Over a celebrated 60-year career, Mr. Moshe Safdie has explored the essential principles of socially responsible design through a comprehensive and humane design philosophy. His wide range of completed projects includes cultural, educational and civic institutions; neighborhoods and public parks; housing; mixed-use urban centers and airports; and master plans both for existing communities and entirely new cities. Safdie’s projects can be found in North and South America, the Middle East and throughout Asia. A citizen of Israel, Canada and the United States, Safdie is an alumnus of McGill University in Canada. In 1964 he established his own firm to realize Habitat ’67, an adaptation of his undergraduate thesis and a turning point in modern architecture. Safdie has received numerous awards, honorary degrees and civil honors including the Companion of the Order of Canada, the Gold Medal from both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the American Institute of Architects, the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian and, most recently, the Wolf Prize in Architecture, in recognition of his career motivated by the social concerns of architecture and formal experimentation.
Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine
Thurs. May 18
Prof. Rachel Sarig is a triple graduate of Tel Aviv University, having completed her DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry), PhD in anatomy and anthropology, and post-graduate studies in orthodontics at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. She established the Dental Anthropology Laboratory at the Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine and is Head of both the Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research and the Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute. Prof. Sarig’s main research interest is the evolution of the masticatory system – the teeth, jaws and muscles around them – in relation to nutrition and cultural habits. Her focus is on studying the effects of evolutionary and environmental changes on oral health in prehistoric populations and their implications for modern societies.
Buchmann Faculty of Law
Thurs. May 18
Prof. Hila Shamir is a professor of law at Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann Faculty of Law, and Principal Investigator of the TraffLab research project. She teaches and researches in the fields of employment, labor, immigration and welfare law, with a focus on issues of human trafficking, gender equality, informal work and the law of global value chains. After being awarded a European Research Council (ERC) grant to pursue research on a Labor Approach to Human Trafficking, she established TraffLab – Labor Perspective to Human Trafficking research project (2018-2023). She is a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, the EU Marie Curie Reintegration Grant, the Alon Scholarship for Outstanding Junior Faculty, multiple research grants from the Israeli Science Foundation and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, as well membership in the Israeli Young Academy. She served as Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at TAU’s Law Faculty (2017-2018). Prof. Shamir earned her SJD and LLM from Harvard Law School and an LLB from TAU. She has taught law at the Toronto Faculty of Law, Georgetown Law School, Cornell Law School, UC Berkeley and Harvard University.
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Singapore
Thurs. May 18
Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam has spent his working life in public service, in roles principally related to economic and social policies. He has been Senior Minister in Singapore since May 2019, after previously serving as Deputy Prime Minister (2011-2019), Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies (2011-2015), Minister for Finance (2007-2015) and Minister for Education (2003-2008). He is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. In addition, he serves as Deputy Chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, chairing its Investment Strategies Committee. Among his numerous international appointments, Mr. Shanmugaratnam co-chairs the Global Commission on the Economics of Water and is a member of the High-Level Advisory Board established by the UN Secretary-General, which will make recommendations on Effective Multilateralism for the UN’s 2024 Summit of the Future. He also chairs the Group of Thirty, an independent global council of economic and financial leaders. He co-chaired the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Global Financing for Pandemic Preparedness and Response and the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance. The first Asian to chair the International Monetary and Financial Committee, Mr. Shanmugaratnam has chaired the Advisory Board for the last three UN Human Development Reports, co-chairs the Global Education Forum, and is a member of both the External Advisory Group to the IMF Managing Director and the World Economic Forum’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Shanmugaratnam led the ‘SkillsFuture Program,’ launched in 2014 with the aim of developing widespread opportunities for life-long learning and job upskilling among Singaporeans. More recently, he chaired the National Jobs Council, which oversaw efforts to rebuild skills and jobs in the wake of COVID-19. He holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was awarded the Lucius N. Littauer Fellow citation for outstanding performance and leadership potential.
Friday May 19
Mr. Natan Sharansky has been a politician, human rights activist and author since his Aliyah to Israel in 1986, after nine years in a Soviet prison. Upon arriving in Israel, he continued the struggle to open the gates of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. In the 1990's, Mr. Sharansky established the Yisrael B'Aliyah party in order to accelerate the integration of Russian Jews. In June 2009, he was elected Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel. He has served in four successive Israeli governments, as Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. In July 2019 Mr. Natan Sharansky became Chair of ISGAP (The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy). Since 2022, he continues to chair the Advisory Board of CAM – Combat Antisemitism Movement. Mr. Sharansky was awarded the U.S Congressional Medal of Honor in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. He is the only living non-American citizen who is the recipient of these two highest American awards.
President & CEO of Mobileye
Friday May 19
Prof. Amnon Shashua is a world-renowned expert in AI, computer vision, natural language processing, and other related fields. He is a 2020 Dan David Prize laureate in the field of Artificial Intelligence and was selected as the 2022 Mobility Innovator by the Automotive Hall of Fame. Prof. Shashua founded and actively leads four companies using applied AI in various fields from automotive to assisted wearables to fintech: Mobileye, OrCam, AI21 Labs, and "One Zero," the first digital bank in Israel. He serves as President & CEO of Mobileye, which was acquired by Intel in 2017 as the largest acquisition in Israeli history, now publicly traded on Nasdaq. Prof. Shashua holds the Sachs Chair in Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has published over 160 papers in the field of machine learning and computational vision, and holds over 140 patents.
Entrepreneur, former Member of Knesset, former Minister of Science and Technology
Wed. May 17
Izhar Shay is an Israeli entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience as an investor in venture capital both in Israel and abroad. He joined DisruptAI as a venture partner, actively pursuing promising early-stage start-ups in artificial intelligence. He founded the largest organized entrepreneur community in Israel, “the Start-Up Stadium,” which connects over 45,000 entrepreneurs, and has also founded the successful radio and podcast program in Hebrew “High Tech in Traffic.” A former member of Knesset and the former Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Shay was a member of the Blue and White Party of the Israeli Parliament and also a member of the Israeli government’s Special Committee on the Novel Coronavirus.