Ayelet Baram-Tsabari
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology

In addition to her duties in the Faculty of Education in Science and Technology at Technion-Israel Institue of Technology, Professor Ayelet Baram-Tsabari heads the Applied Science Communication research group. She founded the Israeli Science Communication Conference series, and is an elected member of the scientific committee of Public Communication of Science and Technology Network (PCST), which aims to improve science communication worldwide.

Prof. Baram-Tsabari is also an elected member of the Israel Young Academy, and serves as Chairwoman of its Communication Committee.  She is a member of the Advisory Board for the US National Academy of Sciences’ LabX public engagement program, and a member of the Israeli Centers of Research Excellence (I-CORE) on “Learning in a Networked Society” and “Taking Citizen Science to School,” among other professional activities.

Prof. Baram-Tsabari’s research focuses on bridging science education and science communication scholarship, identifying people’s interests in science, building on people’s authentic interests in science to teach and communicate science in more meaningful and personally relevant ways, and supporting scientists in becoming effective science communicators.

She has published extensively in leading journals in both science education and science communication.

Daniel Benoliel
Associate Professor, University of Haifa Faculty of Law

Dr. Daniel Benoliel (LL.B, LL.M, J.S.D) is a law professor at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law and a member of the Haifa Center of Law and Technology (HCLT). His main fields of expertise include international intellectual property, patent law, and innovation, public international law, and entrepreneurship law. Benoliel is the author of Patent Intensity and Economic Growth (Cambridge University Press, Intellectual Property, and Information Law series, 2017) and Improbable Leaders: The Battle of Developing Countries for Access to Patented Medicines (with Bruno M. Salama) (FGV University Press, 2017) (In Portuguese). He holds a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.) from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and has been a John M. Olin Research Fellow with the John M. Olin Center for Law and Economics at UC Berkeley, as well as an alumnus of the Yale Law School Information Society Project (ISP). Benoliel has received numerous prizes, awards and research grants in these fields.

Rivka Carmi
President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Professor Rivka Carmi was elected to serve as President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev by the University’s Board of Governors in May 2006. She is the first woman to serve as president of an Israeli university.

Prof. Carmi was born in Israel and is a graduate of Hadassah Medical School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed a residency in pediatrics, a fellowship in neonatology, and an additional two-year fellowship in medical genetics.

Prior to her entry into the administrative arena of the university, Prof. Carmi’s research focused mainly on the delineation of the clinical manifestations and molecular basis of genetic diseases in the Negev Arab-Bedouin population. Author of over 150 publications in medical genetics, her research included the identification of 12 new genes and the delineation of 3 new syndromes, one of which is known as the Carmi Syndrome. Her community projects were aimed at preventing hereditary diseases in the Bedouin community. She was deeply involved with the establishment of major biotechnology initiatives at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, primarily serving as the Acting Director of the nascent National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev.

Eugene Kandel - Keynote Speaker
CEO of Start-up Nation Central, and Emil Spyer Professor of Economics and Finance, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Professor Eugene Kandel is the CEO of the Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem and connecting world business, government, and NGO leaders to the people and technologies in Israel that can help them solve their most pressing problems.

Between 2009 and 2015, Prof. Kandel served as Head of the National Economic Council and as an Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister. He played a central role in all major decisions on economic policy.

Prof. Kandel’s primary areas of expertise are in financial markets and financial intermediaries. His research has been published in various leading finance and economics journals. His research was instrumental in the 1997 redesign of the Nasdaq trading rules.

Omry Koren
Head of the Microbiome Research Lab, Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University

Dr. Omry Koren trained at Tel Aviv University in the field of microbial ecology. During a postdoc at Cornell University, he was part of the NIH Human Microbiome Project and also led the first study to demonstrate that pregnancy is associated with a profound alteration of the gut microbiota and host metabolism.

In 2013, Dr. Koren returned to Israel and joined the new Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University as an Assistant Professor. He continues to study the human microbiome, specifically two aspects: 1) the microbiome in pregnancy and its influence on the newborn, and 2) the microbiome and host behavior. Both aspects look at the interplay between the endocrine system and the microbiota.

Dr. Koren is a recipient of the prestigious Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, the Alon Fellowship for outstanding young scientists, and the IBM Fellow award.

Shie Mannor
Professor of Electrical Engineering, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology

Professor Shie Mannor has a BSc, BA, and PhD, all from the Technion. He spent almost four years as an intelligence officer with the Israeli Defense Forces and has been involved in a few
ventures in the high-tech industry.

He was a Fulbright postdoctoral associate at the Laboratory for Information & Decision Systems at MIT; later he held a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning at McGill University in Montreal.

He is currently back at the Technion where he is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Yaffa Zilbershats
Chair, Planning and Budget Committee, Council of Higher Education

Professor Yaffa Zilbershats is currently serving as the Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Israeli Council of Higher Education, an independent body acting as an intermediary between the Israeli government and the national institutions (such as national funds or public organizations) on the one hand and the institutions of higher education on the other hand. Prof. Zilbershats served as Deputy President of Bar-Ilan University from May 2010 until October 2015. Before that, she served as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University from 2004–2007.

Prof. Zilbershats teaches and researches various aspects of international law and constitutional law. She has published numerous articles in these fields in peer-reviewed journals and has also published a book in English, The Human Right to Citizenship.

She has served on several public committees, including committees for the preparation of immigration and citizenship legislation, for drafting the constitution of the State of Israel, and for drafting a new bill for equality in the army and civilian service.

Prof. Zilbershats also served as the Deputy President of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists and was a member of the board of the Israel Democracy Institute.