Board of Academic & Expert Advisors
Mark Sofer was, until September 2020, a 39-year veteran in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, completing his posting as Ambassador to Australia in August 2020. After receiving his BA in Economics and International Relations from the London School of Economics, Mark took an MA in Political Science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Following his studies, he performed his military service before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981. His career with the Ministry has seen him posted to Peru, Norway, and New York, before being appointed as Ambassador to Ireland, and later as Ambassador to the Republic of India and, concurrently, Non-Resident Ambassador to Sri Lanka. He has served as Deputy Director-General and Head of the Division for Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and as Deputy Director-General and Head of the Division for Asia and the Pacific. His career also spans acting as Foreign Policy Advisor to the then-Foreign Minister of Israel Shimon Peres, and heading Israel’s largest non-profit foundation, the prestigious Jerusalem Foundation.
Amb. Efraim Halevy
Mr. Efraim Halevy served as Head of The Center for Strategic Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 2003 to 2011. Mr. Halevy served as the Head of Israel Secret Intelligence Service from 1998 to 2002 and Deputy Head of Israel Secret Intelligence Service from 1990 to 1995. Mr. Halevy served as Israel Ambassador to the European Union from 1996 to 1998 and National Security Advisor to Israel Prime Minister Sharon from to 2002 to 2003, and as Head of the National Security Council from 2002 to 2003.
Amb Reuven Merhav
Ambassador Reuven Merhav – Former Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Merhav established the first ever Israeli mission in Beijing. He served for years the Prime Minister’s office and within the Security and Intelligence Community. During this period, Mr. Merhav was stationed in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Iran. He is currently an Academic Fellow at both the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS), and the International Dialogue Initiative (IDI). Reuven has authored several publications on Jerusalem, the Middle East, Ethiopia, and China-Israel related topics.
Dr. Shalom Wald
Dr. Shalom Salomon Wald was born in Italy . In 1962 he graduated (Ph.D) in economics and history at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He pursued a long career at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the West’s leading policy think tank. There he specialized in science and technology policy and retired in 2001 as Head of the OECD Biotechnology Unit. Since 2002 he is Senior Fellow of the Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem where he specializes in Israel and the Jewish People’s relations with the great powers of Asia. In 2004 he published “China and the Jewish People – Old Civilizations in a New Era” with a foreword by Amb. Dennis Ross (Chinese edition 2014), in 2014 “Rise and Decline of Civilizations – Lessons for the Jewish People” with a foreword by President Shimon Pères and in 2017 “India, Israel and the Jewish People” with a foreword by President Reuven Rivlin.
Ksenia Svetlova is an Associate at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), IDC Herzliya. Ms Svetlova has been as Knesset member 2015-2019. She has been a member of Foreign affairs and Defense committee as well as Aliya and Integration committee at the Knesset and a chair of three parliamentary lobbies: “Women for peace and security”, “Freedom of press and expression” and “Israel-Kurdish alliance”. Prior to her election to the Knesset, Ksenia Svetlova has served as senior analyst and reporter on Arab affairs on Channel 9 (Israel). In 2003 she covered the War in Iraq while on a U.S. assault ship in the Persian Gulf, conducted exclusive interviews in Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Gaza, and West Bank during the second Palestinian Intifada, and reported on the Arab springs dramatic developments from Tahrir square.
Prof. Uriel Reichman
Prof. Uriel Reichman is the President of the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya; the first private institution of higher education in Israel. He founded the IDC in 1994. Prior to holding this position, Prof. Reichman was the dean of the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University, from 1985-1990. In the mid-1980’s, Prof. Reichman founded a team which formulated a proposal for an Israeli constitution that included reforms such as the direct election of the Prime Minister, constituency elections, a Bill of Rights, etc. Part of his proposal was included within the Basic Laws in 1992. He was involved with the establishment of the Shinui Movement after the Yom Kippur War and was a Kadima candidate to be Education Minister in 2005.
Prof. Huang Renwei
Prof. Huang Renwei, served successively as Vice President of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), Dean of SASS Research Institute of History and Vice President of the Shanghai Center for International Studies. He is currently Distinguished Research Fellow at the Cross-strait Research Center under the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, member of the Policy Advisory Expert Group of Shanghai Municipality, Vice President of the Shanghai American Society, Vice President of Shanghai Association for International Studies, Vice President of the Shanghai Taiwan Research Society, Executive Director of the All-China American Economic Association, Director and Executive Director of the All-China American Historical Society, Director of Pudong American Economic Research Center, and Deputy Director of the Shanghai Center for International Studies.
Mr. David Goldman
Mr. David P. Goldman is a principal of Asia Times and a Senior Fellow at the London Institute for Policy Research. He has published widely on international security, with a focus on the impact of economics and demographics. He was the Wax Family Fellow at Middle East Forum and was a Visiting Fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. He writes the widely followed “Spengler” column at Asia Times Online and PJ Media. His work appears in “The Wall Street Journal”, “The American Interest”, “Claremont Review of Books”, “First Things”, “Tablet Magazine” and “Standpoint”. His 2011 book How Civilizations Die was widely reviewed in English and appeared in Hebrew translation. He was a managing director at a Hong Kong investment bank, Reorient Group, between 2013 and 2016. Previously he was Global Head of Fixed Income Research at Bank of America and Global Head of Credit Strategy at Credit Suisse.
Miri Eisin teaches at the Inter-disciplinary center in Herzeliyya, and works extensively with the media, student groups and diplomats. Miri is a senior fellow at the center for international communication at Bar Ilan University, and a fellow at the institute for counter terrorism ICT at IDC. She served in the Israeli intelligence community and retired from active duty at the rank of full colonel in 2004. Over her twenty year career in the military she served as the deputy head of the combat intelligence corps, the personal assistant to the director of Military intelligence and as the intelligence officer in combat units and research departments. After retiring from the military Miri served as the Israeli Prime Minister’s international media advisor from the second Lebanon war until the end of 2007. Over the last fifteen years Miri has been one of Israel’s main presenters, speaking on regional geo-politics and security related issues in the media worldwide.
Prof. Ma Xiaolin
Professor Ma Xioalin is a Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, is Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of website Blshe.com and News commentator and columnist. He previously served as Executive Director of China Foundation for International Studies, Director of the Middle East Academy in China, Director of the Chinese-Arab Friendship Association, Director, Asia-Africa Development & Exchange Society, Guest Professor, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Former Senior Xinhua Correspondent in Kuwait, Palestinian Territory and Iraq. Ma specializes in research & news reporting on Middle-east affairs, in which he received “International News Award of China” as well as being named 5th of “100 Most Distinguised News Practitioner”. Ma has numerous publications in English, Arabic and Chinese, including his memoirs Survial Diary on the Land of Palestine & Israel, and Through the Frontier from Death to Survival.
Prof. Aron Shai
Prof. Aron Shai is the pro-rector of Tel Aviv University and the Shoul N. Eisenberg Professor for East Asian Studies. He was also formerly a member of the Council for Higher Education, chair of the Ministry of Education’s History Curriculum Committee, academic dean at the David Yellin College of Education, chair of the Department of East Asian Studies and Vice Rector at Tel Aviv University and has been a visiting scholar at numerous other academic institutions, both in Israel and abroad.
Amb. Bilahari Kausikan
Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan is currently Chairman of the Middle East Institute, an autonomous institute of the National University of Singapore, and Ambassador-at-Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore. From 2001 to May 2013, Amb. Kausikan was first the second Permanent Secretary and subsequently Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He previously served in a variety of appointments, including Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and Ambassador to the Russian Federation. Amb. Kausikan is a graduate of Raffles Institution, the University of Singapore and Columbia University in New York.
Prof. Paula Kabalo
Paula Kabalo is the former director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 2011–2017, she was the founding chair of the Woodman-Scheller Israel Studies International MA program. Since 2017, she has also been the founding head of the Azrieli Center for Israel Studies at the Institute, a complex of research hubs that aim to decode core themes related to the Israel phenomenon and the Zionist Idea. Paula was historical consultant for the Ben-Gurion: Epilogue documentary and is a member of the steering committee of the Ben-Gurion Archives exhibition hall, under construction.
Her research focuses on the history of citizen associations and civil society in Israel and David Ben-Gurion’s relations with various strata of society in Israel and the Jewish world. Kabalo mapped, reviewed, and illuminated the role of common people in central historical junctions. Her book Shurat Ha’Mitnadvim – The Story of a Civic Association (Am Oved and Tel Aviv University, 2007) is a case study for understanding the evolution of Israel’s democracy. Her most recent book, Israeli Community Action: Living Through the War of Independence (Indiana University Press, 2020), portrays patterns of community resilience and self-help organizations during Israel’s War of Independence. In addition, she has published dozens of articles on the patterns and roles of civic associations in Israel’s early history (pre- and post-1948), the history of Israel’s youth, state–citizen relations in Israel, and David Ben-Gurion’s leadership through the prism of leader–follower theories (LMX and others). Currently, she is researching community organizations and local leadership in Israeli urban neighborhoods in an ISF grant project that focuses on neighborhood committees.
Mr. David Hatchwell Altaras
David Hatchwell Altaras has held several positions in the global Jewish community in recent years. He was the President of the Jewish Community of Madrid. He served on the Executive Planning Committee of Taglit Birthright and the board of Maccabi World Union. He is currently member of the Genesis Prize’s selection committee and the Peres Center International Board of Governors. In 2015 Mr. Hatchwell co-founded and currently chairs the Fundación HispanoJudía that is dedicated to building bridges between the Spanish speaking and the Jewish worlds and that is building the Hispanic Jewish Museum in Madrid. Mr. Hatchwell Altaras is also a co-founder of ACOM, the leading pro-Israel public diplomacy platform, established in Spain in 2007. Since 2016, Mr. Hatchwell is a member of the Board of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid , Spain’s most prestigious scientific university. He is serving as a founding member of the Spain-China Foundation Executive Committee and is currently a member of the board of the Juan Antonio Samaranch Foundation. David is a frequent speaker at international Jewish gatherings including AIPAC, the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Israel President’s Conferences. In his professional life, Mr. Hatchwell Altaras serves as President of Excem Grupo, a diversified international group started by his late father, leading philanthropist and visionary, Mauricio Hatchwell Toledano (Z”L). The Group was established in 1971 as a Spanish trading and investment firm. Since September 2016 Mr. Hatchwell is the Chairman of the Real Estate Investment Trust “SIR”, based in Spain and specialized in co-living. He also chairs a REIT called SITUR which is the number one Hostel owner and operator in the Iberian Peninsula. David Hatchwell is an investor and a member of the International Advisory Board of OurCrowd, the leading equity crowdfunding platform in the world since 2016. He has been a member of YPO since 2005, where he has served as Madrid´s Chapter Chair.
Mr. Francesco Sisci
In 1988 Francesco Sisci was the first foreigner ever admitted to the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS, a leading research institute in China) for a thesis in Chinese Classical Philology and Philosophy with a thesis on “Rationalisation of Thought and Political Discourse in Early Mohism” coming from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Since 1994 he has been a correspondent in Beijing for ANSA, the Greater China correspondent for Asia Times, Contributes to Il sole 24Ore and Corriere della Sera, the Singapore’s Straits Times and La Stampa. Mr. Sisci has conducted exclusive interviews with several top Chinese leaders such as President Jiang Zemin, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and state councilor Dai Bingguo. Since 1999 he has been a Senior consultant for the Italian Ministry of Environment in China, designing the framework and setting the network of local contacts on the Italian-Sino Environmental cooperation, the most important Environmental cooperation with China and the Chiara Fama Director of the Italian institute of Culture in China. Mr. Sisci is currently a Senior Researcher at Renmin University.
Prof. Edward Luttwak
Prof. Edward Luttwak is contractual strategic advisor for the US Department of Defense and certain treaty allies. Has served on US Presidential transition teams, testified before committees of the US Congress, and variously consulted for OSD/DoD, the US Navy, Air Force, and Army, as well as the US State Department and a White House Chief of Staff. His books, including The Rise of China viz. The logic of Strategy, (Harvard University Press) have been translated into 23 other languages including Arabic, Chinese Japanese, Hebrew, Korean, and Russian. 1942 Arad, Transylvania . Schools in Palermo and in England. Worked in the UK and Israel prior to attending Johns Hopkins University for two years (PhD 1975 The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire). In that same year, he was appointed consultant to the Immediate Office of the US Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger. First visited China in 1976 as guest of Marshal Ye Jianying 叶剑英 / 葉劍英 , periodic invitations to the Jūnshì Kēxué Yánjiūyuàn 军事科学研究院 in Beijing and visits with CASS Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, w related or unrelated travel in Xinjiang, Tibet, Dongbei, Yunnan etc.
Ms. Yael Einav
Based in Shanghai for almost 3 years. Active in China since 1988, with over15 years of high-level executive experience. Yael is a highly sought-after Sinologist in the field of business development in China, led numerous successful deals between Israeli and Chinese companies.
She holds an M.A and a B.A in East Asia/China studies and International relations from Jerusalem Hebrew University and a Master of Business administration (MBA) from Derby university. Also has a certificate as a Director from Bar Ilan University,
Yael is the Founder of YChina Ltd. a company specializing in business development and marketing in the Chinese market. YChina is focused on commercial and technological activity, primarily in fields such as medical device and education – EdTech. YChina is doing Marketing activities and promoting product and services. All product promotion activities give participants added educational value. The company also brings Business from China to Israel including investments and acquisition.
Founder of “Join Us” (开路文化) a Shanghai based company that bring to China global education, innovation excellence methods, and creative thinking. The company organize large scale events and brings educational content, offer methods and ideas that will contribute to greater personal success.
Yael is senior advisor to Government ministries and agencies such as the Foreign Ministry, Export Institute, Ministry of Economy. She is involved for many years in organizing events and conferences to promote China-Israel relations.
Yael has written a book on negotiations with China and hundreds of articles, as well as TV articles, on various topics related to China’s economy. Yael writes regularly about China affairs in Israel most important economic newspaper “The Marker” and is a much sought-after commentator on TV and radio programs.
Conducted many courses and workshops for senior executives. She is well-known in the Israeli business scene as a leading expert on Chinese Business Culture. As a result, her lectures and courses are sought after by Israel’s largest companies, and she has served as a moderator and lecturer in prestigious conferences and symposiums.
Former TV news anchor and News Editor in the Israeli television main Channel (IBA-channel 1). Previously an education officer in the Israeli army.