Major Gen. (Res.) Professor Isaac Ben-Israel serves as Head of the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security since 2002. Additionally, he serves as Chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and Chairman of the National Council for Research and Development in the Ministry of Science.
Ben-Israel was born in Israel (Tel-Aviv), 1949. In 1967, with his completion of high-school at the Hertzliya Gymnasia, he joined the IDF officer corps university track, during which time he completed a BS in Mathematics and Physics. Parallel to his military service, he studied at Tel Aviv University and in 1985 received his MA in Philosophy, completing a work on “'The Analyst' and Analytical Philosophy" under the guidance of Gershon Weiler. In 1988 he received his PhD for his work entitled “The Synthetic Apriori in Action – A Solution to the Problem of Sensory Data”. He served in the IDF until 2002, mostly in the Air Force (IAF). During his service, Isaac Ben-Israel has held several posts in operations, intelligence and weapon development units of the IAF. He headed the Analysis and Assessment Division of IAF Intelligence, and was a part of the operational planning of Operation Opera to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor. His last position in the IAF was as head of the Operations Research Branch. In 1992 he was appointed to head of the General Staff R&D department, and in 1998 his contribution to the IDF’s technological capabilities was recognized with his promotion to the rank of Major General and his appointment as Director of Defense R&D Directorate in IMOD. He has twice been awarded the Israel Defense Award; first in 1972 for the development of the Phantom fighter’s bomb-guidance system; and the second time in 2001 for a project that served to formulate and advanced concept of the future battlefield.
After retirement from the IDF Isaac Ben Israel joined the University of Tel-Aviv as a professor and today serves as the head of the Program for Security Studies since 2004 at the School of Government. He also joined a number of committees in various academic institutions, among them the Technion, as well as various national bodies.
He was a member of the R&D advisory board of TEVA, and founded a security consulting firm: RAY-TOP (Technology Opportunities) Ltd.
Ben Israel lives in Ramat Ha-Sharon, is married and has 3 children.
- Israel Defence Award – 1972 – for the development of the Phantom fighter’s bomb-guidance system.
- IAF Award – 1976 – For the development of a computerized command & control system.
- Head of IDF Intelligence Award for Creative Thinking – 1984
- Israel Defence Award – 2001
- Singapore Defence Technology Distinguished Award for his "outstanding contribution to bilateral defence relations between Israel and Singapore".
- Dialogues on Science and Military Intelligence (publisher: Ma’arachot - 1989) won the Itzhak-Sade Award for Military Literature.
- The Philosophy of Military Intelligence (publisher: Ministry of Defence – 1999)
- Science, Technology and Security: From Soldiers in Combat up to Outer Space (publisher: Ministry of Defence – 2006)
- Chairman of Israel Space Agency (since 2005).
- Chairman of Israel National Council for R&D (since 2010).
- Professor at Tel-Aviv University, teaching at the Security Studies Program (since 2002) and at the Cohen Institute for the History & Philosophy of Sciences and Ideas (since 1989).
Positions at Tel-Aviv University:
- Deputy Director of the Hartog School of Government and Policy in Tel-Aviv University (since 2005).
- Head of Security Studies Program (since 2004-2007, 2010-).
- Head of the Interdisciplinary Cyber Studies Centre (since 2014)
- Head of the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security (since 2002).
- Member of the board of Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies (since 2000)
- Member of the academic council of Afeka - Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering(since 2003)
- Founder and CEO of RAY TOP Technologies (since 2002)