Class 25 of the Wexner Israel Fellowship has been chosen for the upcoming year at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Fellows will begin their year of studies for a Master’s degree in Public Administration this July, together with approximately 230 public sector leaders from 90 countries around the globe. Beyond the Harvard curriculum, the fellowship year will include leadership learning under the auspices of the Foundation, including: a weekly co-curricular meeting together as a class, seminars to learn about and with the North American Jewish community, an intensive visit to Washington, D.C. to experience the workings of US democracy, and meetings with Wexner Heritage and Graduate Fellowship members, fellows, and alumni. The fellows represent a spectrum of key Israeli government ministries and offices, and their professional expertise covers a wide range. Please meet them!

Lior Bruker – Israel Atomic Energy Commission

Lior serves as the Director of the Strategic Planning Department of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC). In his previous position, Lior headed the Policy Research and Analysis Office of the IAEC. Prior to joining the IAEC, he served as a research officer (as a Major) in a variety of posts in the IDF and Military Intelligence. Lior holds an MSc in Life Sciences from the Weizmann Institute of Science and a BSc in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. Lior is married to Nira, an educational counselor, and they live in Modi’in where they raise their three daughters, Noa, Ma’ayan, and Avi’ya. 

Alona Eshed-Zilberdik – Prime Minister’s Office

Alona holds a BA in Economics and Business Management from Tel Aviv University.  Alona has worked for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office since 2001. She is married to Ori.

Nira Lamay Rachlevsky – The Knesset 

Nira has been working as a lawyer since 2001 for the Knesset, currently as Legal Advisor of three parliamentary committees: Science and Technology, Rights of the Child and Immigration, and Absorption and Diaspora Affairs. She is former Deputy Commissioner for Future Generations in the Knesset. Nira graduated from Hebrew University of Jerusalem Law School in 1997 (LLB; Dean’s List of 1995). In 2008 she graduated from Tel Aviv University Law School in Executive LLM program in Public Law (Magna Cum Laude) and from Northwestern University School of Law (LLM- with honors). From 1990 to 1993 she served as a Lieutenant in the IDF manpower section. Nira was born and raised in Holon, Israel, in a religious family that emigrated from Iran. She is married and mother of a son, Michael.

Lavi Ovnat – Israel Securities Authority 

Lavi has worked for the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) since 2006, first as an investigator at the Department of Investigations, Intelligence and Market Surveillance, and since 2009 as Branch Chief, heading a team of investigators responsible for dealing with complex securities fraud and other legal offences cases. He also serves as head of the department’s investigation training program. Lavi manages the ISA’s “Different Lesson” project, working to expand opportunities for disadvantaged children. Lavi holds an LLB and LLM from the Bar Ilan University. He is married to Adi and father of Rotem, Tamar, and Omri.

Itamar Shachar – Prime Minister’s Office

Itamar holds a BA in Political Science and National Security from the University of Haifa. He has worked for the Prime Minister’s office since 1995. His fields of interest include history, literature and film, as well as a love for the outdoors. Itamar is married and the father to four children.

Shahar Solar – Ministry of Environmental Protection

Shahar is the head of the environmental planning and green building division in the Ministry of Environmental Protection. He joined the central district in the Ministry in 2004, initially working in the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel. In 2006, he was appointed as environmental planner-in-charge in the headquarters and in 2010 became the head of his division. During these years, apart from promoting planning policy in the Ministry and leading the professional planners, he engaged with some of the more complex national projects, including the energy and transportation fields. Shahar holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from Beer Sheva University, as well as a master’s degree from the Hebrew University in Geography with two majors: Urban Studies and Environmental Planning, and Management and Policy. He lives in Moshav Ramat Raziel with his wife Yael and their three children, Yonatan, Nitzan, and Shaked. 

Eyal Zandberg – Ministry of Justice

Eyal is currently the Director of Public Law in the Legislation and Legal Counsel Department in the Ministry of Justice. His areas of responsibility include human rights, governmental institutions, and constitutional law. Previously he was Director of Constitutional Affairs in the legal department of the Knesset and legal advisor for the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and for the Constitution Proposal Project of the Knesset. Eyal was awarded an LLB Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Law and Psychology (joint degree) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1996) and a master’s degree in Law from Oxford University (1998). He is married to Ronit and father to Hila.