Professor Manuel Trajtenberg
Professor Manuel TrajtenbergINSS

Sir Frank Lowy, Chairman of the INSS Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Professor Manuel Trajtenberg as the Institute’s new Director. Prof. Trajtenberg will join the INSS in May 2021. He succeeds Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, who headed the renowned Tel Aviv-based think tank for the past decade with great success.

The INSS Board has tasked Professor Trajtenberg with expanding the mandate of the Institute by establishing a new Social and Economic Research Program to complement one of the Institute’s core National Security programs. Professor Trajtenberg is very well suited to take on this challenge, in view of his distinguished record and rich experience both in academia and in senior public policy positions. He is an internationally renowned expert in R&D, innovation and economic development. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, Trajtenberg joined the faculty of the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at Tel Aviv University, where he is currently Professor Emeritus.

Professor Trajtenberg has played a key role in shaping Israel’s socioeconomic policies: He founded and served as first Chair of the National Economic Council at the Prime Minister’s Office. He also chaired the Council for Higher Education’s Planning and Budgeting Committee. After the mass social protest movement that gripped Israel in 2011, he was appointed Chair of the Commission for Economic and Social Change, which made sweeping recommendations for reform. During the past three years, he has been leading the “100 days” project at the Samuel Neaman Institute at the Technion, addressing key socioeconomic policy issues such as healthcare, transportation, early childhood education and fiscal policies. During his distinguished career in public service, he also served on the Brodet Committee that dealt with defense budget reform, and served in the R&D branch of the Ministry of Defense.

Along with developing a new socio-economic research program, Professor Trajtenberg is committed to further advancing the Institute’s core National Security Program, and integrating the two programs to enhance INSS’s impact on the broader issues of concern to Israel's security.

Sir Frank Lowy, Chairman of the INSS Board of Directors, welcomed Prof. Trajtenberg’ s appointment. “Manual Trajtenberg is well suited to lead the Institute toward a more holistic approach to national security that includes serious study of social and economic issues and to continue the excellent research carried out by the Institute’s existing team of researchers. Today’s global pandemic has clearly demonstrated that genuine security hinges not only on military might, but also on the resilience and cohesiveness of Israeli society. On behalf of the INSS' board, I would like to express my profound gratitude to Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin for his extraordinary leadership of the Institute for the past ten years״.

Professor Manuel Trajtenberg said that he was delighted and honored to be appointed Director of the INSS. He expressed his gratitude to the Board and its Chairman for giving him a great opportunity to contribute to the formulation of well-grounded policies in Israel. Trajtenberg praised his predecessor, noting “Amos Yadlin's legacy is a first-rate research organization with a formidable reputation. I am humbled by the great challenges ahead, but I am certain that together with the INSS’s excellent team, we shall be able to meet them.” Prof. Trajtenberg underscored that expanding the mission of the INSS is an urgent requirement given the changing nature of the challenges facing Israel, and the widening scope of national security. “The two areas are highly complementary, and I have no doubt that the INSS will excel in pursuing both,” said Manuel Trajtenberg.

The Institute for National Security Studies launches and engages in innovative, relevant, high-quality research that shapes the public discourse of issues on Israel's national security agenda, and provides policy analysis and recommendations to decision makers, public leaders, and the strategic community, both in Israel and abroad. As part of its mission, it is "committed to encourage new ways of thinking and expand the traditional contours of establishment analysis."

INSS researchers "are guided by the four core values of professionalism, relevance, intellectual independence, and teamwork. Adhering to the highest standards of research and analysis, they are engaged in exploring the most pressing issues of Israel's national security, and contribute through creative and innovative thinking to national security policymaking. Professional integrity and intellectual rigor underlie their work at INSS, as they seek to share ideas and learn from one another while retaining their belief in the value of their own ideas."