Class 29 of the Wexner Israel Fellowship was recently selected.  The new cohort of eight highly talented and dedicated public servants will be meeting in Israel in June before beginning their year-long program in Summer 2017, at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.  We are proud to present Class 29 and wish them success in their work, studies and leadership growth!

Amit Becher
Israel Securities Authority

Amit is a Head of Division in the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), and serves as senior attorney in the Securities Department at the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office (Taxation and Economics).  Amit leads prosecution teams in high-profile and complex criminal cases against dominant figures and corporations, in a wide range of fraud, stock-manipulation and other securities-law violations.  In addition, Amit serves as a member of the ISA’s training and continuing education team, and heads his department’s interns-recruitment process.  As a law student at Tel Aviv University, Amit joined the student leadership, promoting various social initiatives.  In 2000, Amit was elected as President of the Student Union in Tel-Aviv University.  Amit is married to Noa and father to Daniel and Idan.

Yovav Gavish
Ministry of Finance

Yovav serves as Deputy Director General at the Government Companies Authority (GCA), within the Ministry of Finance.  As head of the Finance Division, Yovav is responsible for all financial, accounting and strategic matters regarding the GCA and government companies, including financial reports, budgets, strategic plans, equity and debt issuance and corporate governance.  Yovav joined the GCA in 2011 and led significant reforms in government companies as Head of Defense Companies Sector and Head of IPO’s department.  Prior to joining the GCA, Yovav was working as a Business Analyst and a team leader at a management consulting firm.  Yovav holds a BA in Economics and Management and MA in Economics, both with distinction.


Goni Laufer Duchin
Prime Minister’s Office

Goni serves as Head of Security Department in the Prime Minister’s Office, in charge of all security aspects of the organization.  In the past 16 years, she held various management positions in different departments, including strategic project management and training management.  Goni holds a LLB, a LLM Magna Cum Laude and a BA in Economics from Tel Aviv University.  Goni actively volunteers in community initiatives, focusing on underprivileged children, providing them a better starting point in life.

Baruch (Bobi) Marciano Gilburd
Israel Defense Forces

Bobi is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He had joined the army in 1996 and has served in several management positions in the organization.  Bobi is currently the head of a highly professional Research Department responsible for complicated security related challenges.  For his unique contribution, he was awarded the Israel Defense Prize by the President of Israel in 2006.  Bobi holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Gil Proaktor
Ministry of Environmental Protection

Gil serves as the head of Climate Change Policy at the Ministry of Environmental Protection.  In this role Gil leads the strategic planning of greenhouse gas emissions reduction polices in Israel.  In 2014 and 2015 Gil lead a national committee that established Israel’s long-term national emissions reduction targets and a national implementation plan for the period up to 2030.  Among his current responsibilities is the establishment of a national framework that monitors the progress towards Israel’s emission and energy targets.  Gil was appointed as Israel’s technical focal point for the United Nations Climate Change Convention.  Gil holds a PhD degree from Imperial College London.

Leora Sidi
The General Federation of Labor in Israel (The Histadrut)

Leora serves as the Head of Collective Agreements Department in the Legal Advisor’s Office of the Trade Union Division at the General Federation of Labor in Israel.  In this position she is responsible for overseeing collective agreements signed by the General Federation of Labor, which have improved wages and working conditions for many workers in Israel.  From 2005 to 2010, Leora served as a lawyer in the Legal Advisor’s Office of the Wage and Labor Agreements Department in the Ministry of Finance and, prior to that, as a legal intern at the Legal Department at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.  Leora holds a LLB degree and an MA in Public Policy from the Hebrew University.

Alit Wiel-Shafran
Ramt HaNegev Regional Council & Mitzpe Ramon Local Council

Alit serves as Head of the Har HaNegev Environmental Unit (Ramt HaNegev Regional Council & Mitzpe Ramon Local Council), where she is responsible for implementing sustainability practices such as:  resource management, including municipal waste and recycling management, energy efficiency and more; environmental education; environmental design; sustainable food project and environmental enforcement.  After graduating cum laude from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, with both a BSc and MSc, she continued to PhD During her PhD she was ISEF Fellow and serve as the chairwoman of the organizing committee of the First & Second Conference of ISEF PhD Fellows. Between 2011 and 2015 Alit was a Council Member and Chairwoman of the Air Quality Committee, Neot Hovav Local Industrial Council. Alit is also an alum of the Environmental Fellows Program, Heschel Sustainability Centre, Israel.

Nir Yannay
Israel Defense Forces

Nir serves as Head of Strategic Planning Branch at the IDF Planning Directorate and is ranked as Lt. Colonel.  He is responsible for long-term strategic planning and provides the IDF with strategic assessments, as part of the multiyear planning process.  He has been with the IDF since 1995 in various command and staff positions, including Logistics Company Commander and the Head of Strategic-Military Branch.  He holds a Masters in Security and Diplomacy studies from the Tel Aviv University and an MBA from the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev.