SIGNAL Fellows

Yaakov Amidror

Yaakov Amidror is a former major general and National Security adviser of Israel, participating in high-level talks with US officials about the Iranian nuclear program and led efforts to restore relations with Turkey after the Gaza flotilla raid incident. He was also head of the Research Department of Israeli military intelligence. In 2014, he joined the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies as the Ann and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow and is also a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Dr. Cui Shoujun

Dr. Cui Shoujun is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China (RUC), where he also heads the Center for Middle East and African Studies (CMEAS) established by SIGNAL.  He graduated from China Foreign Affairs University in 2006 where he received his PhD degree, and then joined the faculty of the Foreign Affairs Department at Renmin University’s School of International Studies. His research focuses on energy studies, China’s foreign policy, geopolitics, and developing countries (Middle East, Africa and Latin America). Dr. Cui was a EU Marie Curie scholar to several European Universities and a visiting scholar with the “International Visitor Leadership Program” (IVLP) to the U.S. Department of the State. He has published several books, numerous academic articles, and op-ed articles in both Chinese and English.

Ariella Berger

Ariella Berger runs UnBounded Research, a strategic consultancy based in the heart of Tel Aviv Israel, with deep connections to the multidisciplinary networks, institutions, start-ups and technologists that make up Israel’s high-tech hub. A keynote speaker and seasoned Start-up Advisor, from 2009 to 2016 Ariella was Head of Energy and Oil Alternatives Research at IEP. an influential economics think tank where she worked closely with government, academia and industry. Prior to this she held senior positions in finance, business and investment.

Dr. Li Wei

Dr. Li Wei (PhD) is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) of Northwest University, China. He is the Executive Editor for the Chinese Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (CJMES). Previously, he spent seven years in South Korea for graduate studies, under the supervision of Professor Kim Sunghan who served as the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs in Lee Myungbak’s government. Dr. Li participated in many professional and academic activities in areas of DPRK Nuclear Crisis and East Asia Security in his early career. In May 2014, he joined IMES and expanded his research field to MENA studies. He conducted two academic visits to Israel and published the book Israel and BRI: Role and Prospects (In Chinese) in spring 2018. He is also the Chair of China’s National Social Fund Project: Israel and BRI: Keys and Difficulties since 2018. His area of expertise are: East Asia Security, North Korea Nuclear Issues, East Asia and Middle East Relations, China-Israel Relations, MENA Regional Security and Counter Terrorism.

Prof. Liang Pingan

Senior Research fellow at Shanghai International Studies University, China. MA on Jewish and Israeli Studies, majoring at the Four Jewish Diasporas to China. Serving as Third Secretary in the Chinese Embassy in Kuwait(1991-1995), Second Secretary in the Chinese Embassy in Slovenia(1997-1999). M.A. candidate on Jewish Civilization History of Rothberg International School of Hebrew University in 1999, Visiting Scholar at the Center of Jewish & Israeli Studies of Social Sciences Academy of Shanghai(2001-2004), Exchange scholar at Far-Eastern Department of Tel Aviv University sponsored by the Kofflers(2004), Trainee at Shusterman Israel Studies Institute of Brandeis University and Israel(2013). Voluntary Academic Liaison of SIGNAL(Sino-Israel Global Network Academic Leadership) in China and co-founder of Israel Study Programs in 14 top Chinese universities. Mandarin Chief of MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) in China.

Prof. Meron Medzini

Prof. Meron Medzini teaches modern Japanese history in the Department of Asian Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also teaches Israeli foreign policy at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University. His Ph.D dissertation (Harvard East Asia Monograph no. 41, 1971) dealt with FrancoJapanese relations during the era of the end of the Tokugawa regime and early Meiji. His book Golda-A Political Biography (Tel Aviv, Yedioth Books) won the Prime Minister’s Prize for 2010. He has published a book on Japanese Militarism (Tel Aviv, Ministry of Defense, 2005) and on Japan and the Jews During the Holocaust (Modan, 2008) in addition to fifty articles in scholarly publications in Israel and abroad dealing with Israel’s foreign relations, Israeli Information and Communication Policies, Israel and the Asian nations and specifically Israel and China and Japan. His current research deals with Jewish communities in East and South East Asia.

Dr. Idan Avinoam

Dr. Idan is a political geographer. He teaches at the University of Haifa, Israel, and is a Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. Prior to his academic work, he served for over thirty years in the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, including seven years in the Israeli embassy in Moscow during the break-up of the Soviet Union. During this period, Dr. Idan was involved in the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the states of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Dr. Harold Rhode

Dr. Harold Rhode is a expert in Israel studies, Iran and Islamic culture from and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. He served as the Turkish Desk Officer at the US Department of Defense, as Advisor on Islamic Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon. He delivered a month-long series of lectures at SIGNAL’s ISPs.

Ceng Sagnic

Ceng Sagnic is coordinator of the Kurdish Studies Program and co-editor of Turkeyscope: Insights on Turkish Affairs at the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC). His research areas include the current militant trends in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Yemen; and Kurdish nationalist movements across the Middle East. He is a member of the Islamic State (IS) and Iraq Forum; and the Forum on Kurdish Society, History and Politics at the MDC. Sagnic is a regular commentator for major regional and international media outlets. He speaks two dialects of Kurdish, Turkish, English, Arabic and Persian. He completed his B.A. in Iraqi Kurdistan, holds an M.A. degree from Ben- Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Sagnic is currently writing his PhD dissertation on the emergence of modern Kurdish nationalist movements in Iran at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak

Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak (Phd) is a researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center (MDC). He is the co-editor of Turkeyscope Insights on Turkish Affairs and serves as the Turkey analyst of MDC’s social media watch bulletin “Bee Hive”. In May 2015, he was awarded the Dan David Prize Scholarship in the category of “Past: Retrieving the past, historians and their sources.” His areas of expertise are: contemporary Turkish politics, Turkish Foreign policy, Turkish national security policy, Turkish social media, Turkish education system, Turkish-Israeli relations and Kurds in Turkey.

Yaakov Kirschen

Yaakov Kirschen is an acclaimed cartoonist and SIGNAL Senior Fellow. He is best known for the award-winning cartoon strip Dry Bones, which has been published in the Jerusalem Post since 1973.

Tommy Steiner

Tommy Steiner is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy, IDC Herzliya and teaches International Relations and Security Studies at IDC’s Lauder School of Government. He also Tommy manages the Annual Herzliya Conference Series, directs the Institute’s international relations, and leads policy research projects on EU and NATO relations with Israel, the Mediterranean and the Broader Middle East.

Dror Strum

Dror Strum is the president of the Israeli Institute for Economic Planning. Until 2005, he was the General Director of the Israel Antitrust Authority, major Antitrust litigation cases, both criminal and civil, argued before the Supreme Court and initiated a comprehensive reform in the Israeli Competition Law. He teaches at the IDC, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Bar-Illan University.

Ksenia Svetlova

Ms. Ksenia Svetlova was born in Moscow in 1977 and immigrated to Israel at the age of 14 with her mother and grandmother. She studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a bachelor’s degree in media and the Middle East, and a master’s degree in the Middle East. Ksenia Svetlova is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs, an expert on radical Islam and modern Egypt. Svetlova is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), and Senior Policy Fellow at the “Mitvim” Institute for Foreign Policy. Svetlova was a member of the 20th Knesset (the Israeli parliament) on behalf of the Zionist Union coalition. In her time at the Israeli parliament, Ksenia Svetlova was member of the Foreign affairs and Defense and Aliyah and Absorption committees, as well as heading three parliamentary caucuses: for the Preservation of the Culture of Jews from Islamic Countries, a caucus for Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression, and a caucus for Strengthening Relations between the State of Israel and the Kurdish people. Before the 2015 Knesset elections, Ksenia Svetlova worked as a writer and commentator on Arab Affairs for Channel Nine, a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, BBC, Kommersant (Russia), and others. Through her journalistic work, she has visited many Arab countries, including Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, and Malaysia. She covered the war in Iraq from a U.S. battleship in the Persian Gulf, has many years of experience working in the Palestinian territories, and has published exclusive articles from Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution.

Dr. Gal Luft

Dr. Gal Luft, is the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) and co-chairman of the Global Forum on Energy Security. He is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum. A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Israel Defense Forces he is an expert on international security affairs, energy security, the Middle East and US-China relations. He holds degrees in international relations, international economics and a doctorate in strategic studies from Johns Hopkins University. Esquire Magazine listed him as one of America’s Best and Brightest. He is the author of five books and numerous articles. His latest books are “Silk Road 2.0: US Strategy toward China’s Belt and Road Initiative” (2017) and “De-dollarization: The Revolt Against the Dollar and the Rise of a New Financial World Order” (2019).

Dan Catarivas

Mr. Dan Catarivas presently holds the position of Director General – Foreign Trade and International Relations at the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel and Director of International Relations at the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations (FIEO). Beforehand he served for twenty – five years with the Israel Government. His last position was Deputy Director-General for International Affairs at the Ministry of Finance. In 1994 prior to his position in the Ministry of Finance, Mr.Catarivas established the Middle East Department within the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. He served as a Chairman of the Trade Committee of the Multilateral Economic Negotiations (REDWG) that was part of the peace negotiations. Mr.Catarivas served abroad as a first Economic Counselor of Israel in Beijing, China, and between 1982-1984 served as a representative of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor in the Israeli Liaison Office in Beirut, Lebanon. Mr. Catarivas graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. He holds an MSc degree in Economics from London School of Economics in the field of European Economic Integration and Diploma from College D’Europe in Bruges, Belgium, in the field of Advanced European Studies.

Dr. Ori Goldberg's

Dr. Ori Goldberg’s research focuses on the interaction between religious faith and political behavior. His specialty is Shi’a Islam and Iran. His doctoral dissertation, published by Routledge in 2011 (Shi’i Theology in Iran: The Challenge of Religious Experience), dealt with the role of religious experience in the creation of revolutionary Shi’i discourse in Iran. Dr. Goldberg is the author of Lachshov Shi’it (Thinking Shi’a), published as part of IDF Radio’s “Broadcast University” series. He is the co-author (with Shaul Mishal) of Understanding Shiite Leadership: The Art of the Middle Ground in Iran and Lebanon (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Dr. Goldberg is the recipient of many academic prizes, including the Dan David Prize and the Wolff scholarship. He has served as a research fellow in several prominent institutions and foundations abroad, including Yale University, the Mellon Foundation, the Volkswagen Stiftung and others.

Colonel (ret.) Eran Lerman

Colonel (ret.) Eran Lerman, is the Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security. Dr. Lerman was Deputy for Foreign Policy and International Affairs at Israel’s National Security Council from 2009-2015. Prior to this position, he was Director of the American Jewish Committee’s Israel/Middle East Office, and prior to that as Assistant for Analyses to the Deputy Director for Intelligence Production at the Israel Defense Forces’ Directorate of Military Intelligence. He has an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government (Wexner Program), Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Economics and Political Science from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Modern Middle Eastern History and General History from Tel Aviv University (Summa cum Laude).

Yuri Kogan 

Yuri Kogan is a 25 years veteran of the Israeli Security & Intelligence community, a graduate of the National Executive Intelligence Training Program, with an academic background in Behavioral Sciences, Criminology and Counter Terrorism. Throughout his years of public service Yuri fulfilled a range of field, command & staff positions within the Israel National Police and the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel. Certified as a Crisis Negotiator by the Israel National Police and the FBI he possesses hands-on experience in conducting crisis and hostage negotiations in both criminal and terrorism incidents. A Bachelor (Cum Laude) in Behavioral Sciences from the Ben-Gurion university of the Negev, Master of Arts in Criminology from the Bar-Ilan University, he recently completed the MA program in Counter Terrorism with a cluster in Cyber Terrorism at IDC and won the National Consulting Competition as a member of the IDC Consulting Club.

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is an Israeli intelligence and security expert. Formerly, Kuperwasser served as the head of the research division in the Israel Defence Force (IDF) Military Intelligence division and Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs. At the moment, Kuperwasser is a Senior Project Manager at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) specializing in the security dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. 

Dana Ador

Dana Ador is the former program director of SIGNAL (2011-2019). She served, as the key contact between SIGNAL colleagues in both China and Israel. Ms. Ador holds an International Executive MBA from Haifa University as well as a B.A. from Haifa University in Economics & East Asian Studies with a focus on China. Upon completing her B.A. studies, she received an honors scholarship and spent one year in China studying Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).

Roi Feder

Roi Feder, managing director of APCO in Israel, supports some of the world’s leading healthcare, technology, financial services and energy firms in navigating the market. Mr. Feder also manages several business initiatives for APCO’s global operations and leads the integration of new technologies into APCO’s digital practice. Mr. Feder served as the senior advisor to the Government of Israel’s “China-India Fund” program helping the government lead strategic investment promotion programs aimed at strengthening bilateral relations. He has also managed the government’s “Shavit China” initiative, helping Israeli companies from an array of industries enter the Chinese market. Having worked with several of China’s leading corporations, he has developed expertise in supporting Chinese corporations with their global positioning and M&A strategies. Mr. Feder is a guest lecturer on Israel-China affairs at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bar Ilan University, and the Institute for National Security Studies. He has provided briefings to Israel’s senior diplomats at Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and serves as a commentator on Israeli national television.  Mr. Feder holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the Tel Aviv University School of Government. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and East Asian Studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 

Johan van de Ven

Johan van de Ven is a Senior Analyst at RWR Advisory Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy that advises government and private-sector clients on geopolitical risks associated with China and Russia’s international economic activity. He leads RWR’s research and analysis of the Belt and Road Initiative, the centerpiece of foreign policy under Xi Jinping.