|Written by Ruby Ong|
Naomi Chazan, former Israeli Knesset Deputy Speaker and outspoken human rights activist, began her new role as president of the New Israel Fund in June 2008. Chazan served on the NIF Board from 1992-93, resigned upon being elected to the Knesset for the Meretz party, and rejoined the NIF Board in January 2007. She is Professor Emerita of Political Science and African Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she served as Chair of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, and has been a Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard University. Chazan currently serves as Head of the School of Government and Society at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo and spent the academic year 2004-2005 as the Wilhelm Fellow at the Center for International Studies at MIT.
Born in Jerusalem, Naomi Chazan holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A long-time advocate for social justice, Chazan is among the founders of the Israel Women’s Network, has served as vice-president of the International Political Science Association and was a member of the Executive Committee of Parliamentarians for Global Action. She also helped found and is active in a variety of professional, human rights and peace organizations.