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WIF Alumni Community and WSL Network Members

WIF Alumni Class 24

Meet the WIFP Class 24 Fellows who are currently concluding the MC-MPA Program at the Harvard Kennedy School

Udi Adiri

Head of the Energy Unit, Budget Department, Ministry of Finance

Udi Adiri is the head of the energy unit in the Ministry of Finance’s budget department. He joined the budget department in 2005, initially working on the land transportation team and dealing with the challenges of public transportation in Israel. In 2008, he was appointed head of the transportation unit and in 2010 became the head of the energy unit. During these years, he has had the privilege of leading some of the most influential reforms in the Israeli economy, such as reforms in the sea ports, public transportation, and Israeli railroads and roads. Most recently, he was involved with the Shishinsky Committee for gas and oil fiscal policy, as well as the institutionalization of the Israeli gas market and private electricity sector. Udi holds a Bachelor of Science in economics and history, as well as a Master’s degree in economics, from Tel Aviv University. He served in the Israel Defense Forces armored corps as a soldier, platoon commander, and company deputy. He lives in Moshav Yarkona with his wife Meital and their two children, Yoav and Omer.

Lt. Col. (Res.) Yotam Dagan
Director, Momentum Post-Army Program, Director of Admissions and Mentoring, SEAL Leadership Program

Yotam Dagan is the co-founder and managing director of the Momentum post-military service program and the co-founder and director of admissions of the SEAL leadership program. He is a former Navy Seal commander, a certified clinical psychologist, and a hostage negotiator. For many years, Yotam has been involved with leading soldiers on the battle field, building their mental and professional fighting capacity, developing their leadership skills, and caring for their wellbeing. Upon completion of his military tenure, Yotam initiated and started non-profit programs helping IDF soldiers to reintegrate into Israeli civil society. He co-founded the SEAL leadership program to assist Israel’s most senior special forces veterans to help them take the lead in Israel’s public sector and become involved in social entrepreneurship. Yotam holds a BA in psychology and general studies and a MA in clinical psychology from the University of Haifa. He is married to Iris and is the father of four boys. He and his family reside in northern Israel.

Roy Folkman
Head of Strategy Unit, Policy Advisor to the Mayor, Municipality of Jerusalem

Roy is a policy advisor to the Mayor of Jerusalem and a PhD candidate in the field of decision-making at the School of Public Policy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In his advisory role, he heads the strategic planning department of the Jerusalem Municipality. He has also held several leadership positions in the political and educational arenas, including being a member of the National Planning Committee of the Office of the Interior, CEO of the Hebrew University Student Union, and teaching assistant and guest lecturer at the Hebrew University. Roy is the co-founder of New Spirit, the largest student organization in Jerusalem, which deals with internships, culture, community building, and affordable housing. He serves on the board of directors of several organizations including the Yad Ben Zvi Center for Jerusalem Studies and Research, the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, and the Government-Municipal Company for Housing. Upon completion of his military tenure as an infantry field medic with the “Nachal Brigade,” Roy enrolled in the Hebrew University where he earned his BA in Economics and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and his MA with honors at the School of Public Policy.

Dr. Sameer Kassem
Medical Director, Maccabi Health Services, Head, Endocrinology Laboratory, Hadassah Medical Organization

Dr. Sameer Kassem serves as the medical director of Maccabi Health Services in East Jerusalem. Being responsible for the quality of clinical care in his region, Sameer is active in promoting the health of the population and raising public awareness of important health issues. Sameer has led various activities including organizing meetings for patients with chronic diseases as well as education sessions in preventive medicine, chronic care and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. In addition to his work with Maccabi, Sameer is a senior endocrinologist and the director of the endocrinology laboratory at Hadassah Hospital. He leverages his joint position at Hadassah and Maccabi to strengthen the cooperation between community physicians and hospitals. Sameer is actively engaged in training the next generation of physicians through his academic activity within the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical School. He is also involved in recruiting young physicians to various training programs prior to their service in East Jerusalem. He holds both MD and PhD degrees from the Hebrew University, is a lecturer in the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical School, and is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. Sameer is married to Atheer and they have three children.

Adv. Tziona Koenig Yair
National Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunities Commission Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor

Attorney Tziona Koenig-Yair is the first National Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, appointed by the government in January 2008. The EEOC is the government body responsible for enforcing equal opportunity in the labor market on many grounds. Tziona established the commission and has led the organization since its establishment, mainstreaming equality, fostering public awareness, issuing guidance and legal opinions, and litigating discrimination cases. Previously, she worked at the Israel Women’s Network, Israel's foremost advocacy group for women. There, she was the head of the legal department and then executive director. Tziona started her legal career as a prosecutor in the district attorney's office in Tel Aviv and also headed a legal clinic in Ramat Gan College. She currently teaches a course on discrimination in the workforce at Tel Aviv University, and is also a board member in the National Security Institute. Throughout her career, Tziona has published editorials in leading Israeli newspapers on various aspects of equality in the Israeli workforce and is a frequent lecturer and panelist on issues regarding human rights and employment. In 2011, she was selected by “The Marker” newspaper as one of the 100 most influential people in Israel, due to her work in promoting and implementing equality in the labor market in Israel. Tziona holds a LLB degree from the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University. She is married to Eyal and they have three children: Nitzan, Sagi and Noga.

Netaly Ophir-Flint
Vice President, The Reut Institute

Netaly Ophir-Flint is vice president of the Reut Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit organization designed to provide strategic support to Israeli leaders and decision-makers in order to catalyze change in Israel and the Jewish world. Her position includes strategic and organizational development, financial management, and responsibility for the organization’s daily operations. In addition, Netaly heads a taskforce on the changing paradigm in relations between Israel and the wider Jewish world. Before joining Reut, Netaly worked as a lecturer in the department of international relations at the Hebrew University and in a variety of positions at the Shalem Center Research Institute. Netaly currently serves on the board of directors of PresenTense Israel. She holds a joint master’s degree in International Relations and Conflict Management and Resolution, as well as a BA Degree in History and International Relations from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During her military service, Netaly served as a tank instructor for Israeli and foreign officers in the IDF armored corps. She is married to Nir and they have a daughter, Lior.

Adv. Yifat Ovadia
Founder and CEO of Olim Beyahad

Attorney Yifat Ovadia is the founder and CEO of Olim Beyahad. She founded this nonprofit organization in 2006 with the goal of fully integrating the Ethiopian Israeli community into Israeli society. Olim Beyahad supports Ethiopian university graduates in finding appropriate jobs, building professional, financial, and personal strength, and becoming role models and leaders. Through OB's mentoring program, which includes volunteer mentors from the highest echelons of Israeli society, OB has recruited thousands of companies and managers to take responsibility to eliminate prejudice, increase equal opportunities and to become a human network of Israelis (Ethiopian and non-Ethiopians) that leads to social change. Before establishing OB, Yifat served as a managing partner and head of the litigation civil law department in a law firm, while also representing pro bono cases and defending human rights. Prior to that, Yifat helped create a new initiative in Israel by co-founding and managing a pro bono human rights department in a commercial law firm. Until recently, she served as a board member in ACRI (Association of Civil Rights in Israel). Yifat earned her BA degree in law from Tel Aviv University. She is married to Ehud and they have three children: Omer, Shahar and Gal.

Avner Vilan- Technical Project Manager, Prime Minister's Office
Avner Vilan has served as a technical project manager in the Prime Minister's Office since 2005, where he has held several research and development managerial positions in diverse technological fields. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in mathematics and physics from the Hebrew University's prestigious Talpiot program. During his military service, Avner served in an elite IDF technological unit and commanded a class of Talpiot cadets. Avner was born and raised in Kibbutz Negba and now lives with his wife Liat in Raanana. His hobbies include photography, traveling, reading, mountain biking and scuba diving.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Yaari- Squadron Commander, Israeli Air Force
Jonathan grew up in Jerusalem and joined the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in 1992 after gaining a Bachelor's degree in economics from the Hebrew University. Throughout his wide-ranging service as a fighter pilot and commander, Jonathan combined leadership positions and operational combat flying in IAF's most strategic jet squadrons. In 2000, upon completion of his mandatory service, Jonathan obtained an MBA from Insead, Fontainebleau and worked for McKinsey and Company as a strategic consultant in the UK, Israel and Italy. He returned to the IAF to resume his military career including commanding two of Israel's elite fighter squadrons. He is married to Ariella and they have three children: Yael, Tamar and Guy.


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