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 Skip Navigation LinksHome > About Us > Board of Governors  
About Us Board of Governors
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As set out in the 1972 agreement between the United States and Israel that established the BSF, the Foundation is governed by a Board of Governors consisting of 10 members, five from each country, appointed by the respective governments. The Board is responsible for determining financial and policy issues of the Foundation.  The Board meets twice a year, once in Jerusalem and once in Washington D.C. The chair and vice chair of the BSF alternate annually between the two countries.


The following are the members of the Board for 2018-2019:


Prof. Abraham (Avi) Israeli, Israel - Chair
Chief Scientist, Ministry of Health; Hebrew University - Hadassah School of Public Health



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Professor Abraham (Avi) Israeli is the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Health.  He is also Head of the Department of Health Policy, Health Care Management and Health Economics at the Hebrew University – Hadassah Faculty of Medicine. Prior to this he was the Director General of the Israel Ministry of Health (2003-2009) and the Director – General of Hadassah Medical Organization (1998 -2001).

He holds the Chair of Dr. Julien Rozan Professorship of Family Medicine and Health Promotion at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem (since 1996) and teaches there regularly.

Professor Israeli chaired the national committee to update the Israeli national standard basket of health services, and served on several blue ribbon panels related to health policy in Israel.

Professor Israeli received his medical degree and his master in public health from the Hadassah – Hebrew University Medical School. He completed residencies in Internal Medicine and in Health Care Management at Hadassah University Hospital and has certification in both specialties. He received his Master's Degree from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Boston.

His scientific activities are related to applied, methodological and theoretical research in the fields of health policy, health care management, and the epidemiological, economic, social and cultural basis for decision-making.

His publications deal with translation of academic knowledge and inputs from the field into policy setting and decision-making processes.

Two additional key research foci are rationing / priority setting and comparative health care systems.


Dr. Andrew M. Hebbeler, U.S.A. - Vice-Chair
Deputy Director for Science & Technology (OES/STC), U.S. State Department



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Andrew M. Hebbeler is a former scientist wth foreign affairs, national security, science and technology, and nonproliferation program and policy experience. Currently, he is Deputy Director in the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation at the U.S. Department of State. Previously, he was a Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Office of S&T Adviser to the Secretary of State (E/STAS) where he focused on a range of emerging technologies that impact foreign policy, and also served as the Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (ISN/CTR) where he oversaw the NADR Global Threat Reduction program, a $65M program to prevent terrorists and other non-state actors from acquiring biological, chemical, and nuclear WMD materials, expertise, and knowledge. From 2013-2015, he was Assistant Director for Biological and Chemical Threats in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and focused on national security policy at the intersection of infectious disease, weaponizable chemicals, and science and technology. Prior to his position at the White House, Dr. Hebbeler managed and oversaw the State Department's Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP), a $40M program that reduces the threat of bioterrorism by preventing terrorist access to potentially dangerous biological materials, dual-use infrastructure and expertise, while supporting efforts to combat infectious disease and enhance public and animal health worldwide.

Dr. Hebbeler was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and received his Bachelor's degree in biology and philosophy from Thomas More College in Crestvew Hills, Kentucky. He completed his doctoral work in the laboratory of C. David Pauza at the University of Maryland, Baltimore where he focused on understanding an unconventional lymphocyte population that is important during immune responses to infectious disease and cancer. Before joining the State Department, Dr. Hebbeler was a postdoctural fellow in the laboratory of Warner C. Greene at The J. David Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, California.


Ms. Cathleen Campbell
Visiting Scholar, American Association for the Advancement of Science



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Cathy Campbell is a Visiting Scholar in the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy where she is researching national approaches to science diplomacy among Arab countries.

Cathy has four decades of experience in international science and technology programs, policies, and management. Prior to AAAS, she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of CRDF Global where she led science diplomacy initiatives and oversaw science cooperation with over forty countries. Previously, Carol served as director of the Office of International Technology Policy and Programs, Department of Commerce from 1998-2002 and senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1995-1997.  She was the U.S. State Department's program officer for Soviet/Russia science and technology affairs from 1989-1994. Before joining the State Department, Cathy held research positions at the Library of Congress, Rand Corporation, and Presearch, Incorporated.

Cathy has a Master's degree from George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs and a B.S. from Georgetown University.  She serves on the External Advisory Board, Pennsylvania State University's School of International Affairs; and the Advisory Committee, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS).  She is a Fellow of the AAAS.


Prof. Howard Cedar
School of Medicine, Hebrew University; Member, Israel Academy of Science



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Dr. Howard Cedar studied mathematics at M.I.T. and then received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from N.Y.U. In 1973 he immigrated to Israel and took up a position as Professor of Molecular Biology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he has remained ever since. Over the past 30 years his laboratory together with that of Prof. Aharon Razin have pioneered in the study of DNA methylation. These discoveries help explain how genes are regulated and have lead to better understanding of human development and the molecular basis of many diseases. He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1999, is an elected member of EMBO since 1983 and became a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences in 2002. He has received the Wolf Prize in Medicine (2008), the Emet Prize (2009) and the Gairdner International Award (2011).

Dr. Joshua Gordon
Director, National Institute of Mental Health



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Dr. Gordon received his MD/PhD degree at the University of California, San Francisco and completed his Psychiatry residency and research fellowship at Columbia University. He joined the Columbia faculty in 2004 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry where he conducted research, taught residents, and maintained a general psychiatry practice. In September of 2016, he became the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Gordon’s research focuses on the analysis of neural activity in mice carrying mutations of relevance to psychiatric disease. His lab studies genetic models of these diseases from an integrative neuroscience perspective, focused on understanding how a given disease mutation leads to a behavioral phenotype across multiple levels of analysis. To this end, he employs a range of systems neuroscience techniques, including in vivo anesthetized and awake behaving recordings and optogenetics, which is the use of light to control neural activity. His work has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Dr. Gordon’s work has been recognized by several prestigious awards, including the The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation – NARSAD Young Investigator Award, the Rising Star Award from the International Mental Health Research Organization, the A.E. Bennett Research Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and the Daniel H. Efron Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.


Dr. Bracha Halaf
Chief Scientist & Senior Manager, Oil Replacements; Israeli Ministry of Energy & Water



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Dr. Bracha Halaf is the Chief Scientist and Senior Manager of the Oil Replacement Program at the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources. She also serves as Head of the National Coal Ash Board and is a member of the Natural Gas Authority Council. Previously, she was the Scientific Advisor to the Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. In 2009, Dr. Halaf received her PhD in Biophysics from the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition, Dr. Halaf holds M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Prof. Peter Hotez
Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology



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Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. He is also University Professor at Baylor University, and Fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

Dr. Hotez is an internationally-recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. As head of the Texas Children’s CVD, he leads the only product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, and Chagas disease, and SARS/MERS, diseases affecting hundreds of millions of children and adults worldwide. In 2006 at the Clinton Global Initiative he co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to provide access to essential medicines for hundreds of millions of people.

He obtained his undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics from Yale University in 1980 (phi beta kappa), followed by a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from Rockefeller University in 1986, and an M.D. from Weil Cornell Medical College in 1987. Dr. Hotez has authored more than 400 original papers and is the author of the acclaimed Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases (ASM Press) and the recently released Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Diseases of the Poor amid Wealth (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Dr. Hotez served previously as President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and he is founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, and in 2011 he was awarded the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Health by the Pan American Health Organization of the WHO. In 2014-16 he served in the Obama Administration as US Envoy, focusing on vaccine diplomacy initiatives between the US Government and countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2018 he was appointed by the US State Department to serve on the Board of Governors for the US Israel Binational Science Foundation, and he received the Sackler Award in Sustained Leadership from ResearchAmerica!

In 2016, Prof. Hotez emerged as a major national thought leader on the Zika epidemic in the Western Hemisphere and globally. He was among the first to predict Zika’s emergence in the US and is called upon frequently to testify before US Congress, and served on infectious disease task forces for two consecutive Texas Governors. For these efforts in 2017 he was named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the 34 most influential people in health care.


Dr. Rebecca Keiser, U.S.A.
Head, Office of International Science & Engineering, National Science Foundation



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Dr. Rebecca Keiser heads the National Science Foundation's Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE). OISE promotes an integrated, foundation-wide international strategy and manages internally focused programs that are innovative, catalytic and responsive to a broad range of NSF and national interests.

Prior to this position, Keiser was a special advisor for NASA's Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships, reporting to the NASA administrator, and an executive-in-residence at American University. She held several positions with NASA, including associate deputy administrator for strategy and policy, associate deputy administrator for policy integration, executive officer to the deputy administrator, and chief of staff for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Keiser also served as assistant to the director for international relations at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she provided policy guidance to the president's science advisor.

Keiser's experience covers science and technology policy, agreements and other cooperative efforts. She is a board member of Women in Aerospace and a member of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. She speaks Japanese and Spanish.

Keiser earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese studies from Wellesley College, a Master of Science degree in politics of the world economy from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate in international studies from the University of South Carolina.


Mr. Ido Sofer
Budget Division, Israeli Ministry of Finance



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Prof. Yeshayahu (Ishi) Talmon
Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Technion-Israel Inst. of Technology



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Yeshayahu (Ishi) Talmon is a (very active) Emeritus Professor at the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Technion-Israel Inst. of Technology, Haifa, Israel. He is a chemical engineer by training and affiliation. Received his B.Sc. (summa cum laude) and M.Sc. from the Technion, and his Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of Minnesota, under the supervision of Profs. Davis, Prager, and Scriven. He has been on the Technion faculty since 1979, has served as the Dean of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 2000 to 2005, and as Head of the Technion Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute from 2010 to 2012. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Israel National Committee of Planning and Budgeting that oversees the entire budget of the Israeli higher education system. Among the honors he has received are The Ernst Ruska Award of the German Society for Electron Microscopy, the Alexander von Humboldt Award (twice), and a Doctor of Science honoris causa from the Lund University in Sweden.


For the list of former Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Board of Governors click here .
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