Mr. Gershon Kekst of New York, Chairman of the Weizmann Institute's Board of Governors, speaking in the name of the Institute's Nominating Committee, announced the candidacy of Prof. Ilan Chet for the position of Institute President.
The Nominating Committee's recommendation marks the end of a year-long process, which included a search committee made up of members of the Board of Governors from Israel and abroad, and leading scientists from the Institute and abroad. The search committee recommended Prof. Chet by a large majority, and their recommendation was accepted yesterday by the Institute's Nominating Committee, headed by Mr. Gershon Kekst. The Chairman of the Board of Governors informed the Institute's Executive Council of this decision in its meeting today.
The Nominating Committee's acceptance represents a recommendation to the Board of Governors to elect the President during its annual meeting in November 2001. The president will assume his responsibilities on December 1, 2001 with the culmination of a 13-year term held by Institute President, Prof. Haim Harari.
Prof. Ilan Chet was born in Haifa in 1939. He completed his doctoral work in Microbiology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot.
Prof. Chet's research deals with the biological control of plant disease using environment-friendly microorganisms, focusing on the basic, applied, and biotechnological aspects of this field. Chet has published over 330 articles in international scientific journals, edited three books in his field, and holds 30 patents. He has trained about 30 Ph.D. and 50 M.Sc. students.
Between 1983 and 1986, Prof. Chet served as the Founding Director of the Otto Warburg Minerva Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, and between 1986 and 1989 he served as Dean of the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot.
For the last ten years Prof. Chet has served as Vice President for Research and Development of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His national and international fame is exemplified by his rich list of academic appointments, prizes, and awards. He served as visiting professor at the universities of Harvard, Cornell, and Rutgers in the United States and at Goettingen and Lund University in Europe. He served as senior scientist in Dupont Co., Delaware, USA, and is a member of the scientific advisory committees of both the European Union and NATO.
Prof. Chet was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sweden's Lund University in 1991 and the Max-Planck Award for Distinguished Research in 1994. His numerous prizes include the Rothschild Prize in Agriculture (1990), the Japanese Arima Prize for Applied Microbiology (1996), the Israel Prize (1996), and the Wolf Prize (1998). He has been a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 1998.
The Weizmann Institute of Science is a major center of scientific research and graduate study located in Rehovot, Israel. Its 2,500 scientists, students and support staff are engaged in more than 1,000 research projects across the spectrum of contemporary science.