Leadership Initiative for Israelis


Leadership development program for leaders
in Israel’s public sector.

The goal of the Wexner Israel Fellowship (תכנית העמיתים של קרן וקסנר) is to provide Israel’s next generation of public leaders with superlative training in public management and leadership development, thus enhancing the quality of democracy and the institutional vitality of Israel’s public sector.

Since 1989, The Wexner Foundation has been committed to the promotion of excellence and leadership in Israel’s public sectors.

The Fellowship was designed for mid-career leaders in Israel's public sector.

Program Overview

Each year, for the past 35 years, up to 10 outstanding public sector directors and leaders from Israel worked toward their Master in Public Administration degree at Harvard Kennedy School. These mid-career students – Wexner Israel Fellows – committed to returning to Israel and remaining in the public sector for at least three years after completing the program. Graduates of the program joined the Wexner Alumni community, where they continued to learn, develop, and apply their newly acquired tools to even greater benefit for Israel.

In addition to the academic program, fellows explored models of leadership and peoplehood in the American Jewish community and met with senior U.S. government officials.

The Wexner Foundation ended all ties with Harvard University due the failure of its leadership to respond appropriately to public expressions of support on campus for Hamas’s October 7th massacre, and their refusal to condemn a declaration by Harvard student organizations that put the full blame for this disaster on Israel. The Wexner Foundation is preparing to offer new leadership training programs to Israel’s public sector, in the spirit of its decades long commitment to Israel.

There will be no Fellowship class in 2024. Information on the Foundation’s new programs for Israeli public sector leaders will be published here as soon as possible.

"The Wexner Israel Fellowship is a gift that goes on giving… Experiencing the richness and depth of HKS training was just the beginning; spending some time and studying alongside colleagues from around the globe opened my eyes to a dimension of opportunities I had not expected. I can easily say that being a part of The Wexner Foundation and its programs definitely made me a better leader and a much deeper thinker."

Director General, Alyn Hospital
Wexner Israel Fellowship, Class 20


Keren Zefania, Program Director
Sharon Zini, Program Coordinator


Upon graduating, the participants joined the Foundations’ Alumni communities in Israel and the U.S. for further shared learning and significant activities for the public and society in Israel.

The Alumni community and senior leaders network number 650 members, most of them serving in senior key positions in Israel’s public service: Director Generals of government ministries, senior officers in the IDF, judges, hospital directors, municipality and third sector NGO’s director generals, etc.

Alumni community activities include annual institutes, networking and tutorial groups, peer consultation, summits with U.S. Alumni and work teams to promote professional cross-boundary collaborations, Adaptive Leadership workshops, accelerator workshops and more.

Meet Our Alumni and Fellows