Leadership Initiative for Israelis


Intensive leadership development program for leaders in Israel.

The Wexner Senior Leaders program offers an executive leadership experience that leverages the training and scholarship of the Harvard Kennedy School to strengthen Israel’s public service leadership and spur innovative, collaborative projects across government departments and agencies.

The program aims to strengthen skills and design strategies for leading transformative change, acquiring new tools for better decision making, and developing strategies for some of Israel’s most promising and influential senior leaders in the public sector. The program prepares a select cohort each year to exercise collaborative leadership within and across organizations and sectors.

Program Overview

The executive program includes the following modules:

  • Three-day introductory seminar in Israel
  • Four weeks in-residence at Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • Two-day implementation seminar in Israel

Sivan Shani, Program and Network Director
Sharon Zini, Program Coordinator

Who Can Apply

Please note: the eligibility process is now closed.

  • Senior level positions within Israel’s public service sector, including the civil service, local government, government agencies, and security forces.
  • Seniority rank of 42-44 at least (סגל בכיר מוביל)
  • Priority will be given to positions reporting to the Director General.
  • Public service employment expectancy of at least three years. (Candidates must commit to continue working in Israel’s public sector for at least three years following graduation from the program).
  • Masters degree or higher.
  • Function comfortably in an academic, English language setting.
  • Candidates must have the approval and recommendation of their Director General.

Diversity and Inclusion are a core value of The Wexner Foundation. We strive to select cohorts that represent the broadest possible representation within Israel’s civil service.

Selection Process

This program has a three-part selection process:

1. Eligibility Form

In the Eligibility Form, candidates will provide personal and career information that enables the Foundation to determine whether the candidate meets the criteria for applying to the program.

JUNE 1, 2023 – AUGUST 1, 2023

2. Application

In the Application Form, candidates will provide personal and career information, references and a letter of approval from the public service employer in order to participate in the program.

Candidates will be required to pass an internal English language competency test.

Deadline to submit is OCTOBER 1, 2023

3. Cohort Selection (Round Tables)

Interviews in a round table format will be held in order to assist the selection committee to select a diverse cohort. The final cohort will be announced shortly after.

OCTOBER 30 – 31, 2023

Program Dates

Residential Prep Seminar in Israel: December 17 – 19, 2023

Residential Program at Harvard Kennedy School: February 10 – March 10, 2024

Residential Closing Seminar in Israel: June 5-6 , 2024


Upon graduating, the participants join 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 include over 500 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.

The alumni community activities include annual institutes, networking and tutorial groups, forum gatherings for 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