Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, Dean of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel-Aviv University, was chosen today to become the seventh president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The University's Executive Board thus confirmed the recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee headed by Adv. Asher Heled. Prof. Chamovitz will assume office on January 1st, 2019, replacing outgoing President Prof. Rivka Carmi, who will have completed three terms in office (12 years).
"Prof. Chamovitz has the ability to lead and can create the necessary and appropriate circles of cooperation within and outside the University," said Heled. "The Search Committee was impressed by Chamovitz's academic stature in Israel and abroad. It believes he has the leadership skills, vision and the ability to lead significant processes of change and development, combined with proven academic administration experience. He is intimately acquainted with the higher education system and with trends in academic development in Israel and abroad."
“It has been a great privilege to serve as president of this wonderful institution for 12 challenging years, and I couldn't be prouder of what we've accomplished," Prof. Carmi said. “I am confident that Prof. Chamovitz will continue to build on those successes and lead the University to new, even greater achievements."
“Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is uniquely positioned to take a leading role nationally and internationally," said Prof. Chamovitz in his presentation to the Executive Board. “The University already embraces diverse academic fields, having developed strong science, humanities and professional programs, and it attracts bright young researchers. Its modern campus, which is expected to expand to the new North Campus, combined with the new Advanced Technologies Park next door, open up countless opportunities for innovation and interactions with industry that could only have been dreamed of in the past."
Prof. Chamovitz's vision emphasizes a focus on: "Excellence and innovation in the three pillars that define Ben-Gurion University: Research, academia and community outreach. These three pillars must be shaped by the University's mission, inherent it its name."
Prof. Chamovitz, a native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, is a graduate of both Columbia University in NYC and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he obtained a PhD in genetics. As a member of Tel Aviv University's academic faculty he received the prestigious Alon Fellowship for outstanding young researchers from the Council for Higher Education.
He has published extensively on developmental biology, computational biology and botany in peer reviewed scientific journals. He is founder of the Manna Center Program for Food Safety and Security at TAU and his 2012 popular science book, What a Plant Knows, received critical attention worldwide and has been translated into 18 languages.
Prof. Chamovitz is an internationally recognized activist promoting plant sciences and their contribution to feeding the growing world population and is on the editorial board of several important scientific journals.