Seven Americans Receive University of Haifa 2016 Honorary Doctorates

The University of Haifa awarded Honorary Degrees to eleven educators, philanthropists and government leaders at festive ceremonies on Tuesday, June 7, as part of the 44th Annual Board of Governors’ Meeting.

Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, headlined an international array of recipients that included seven honorees from the United States or with roots in both the U.S. and Israel. Here are brief biographical sketches of the 2016 honorees.

Ms. Herta Amir (USA)

Herta Amir is a Los Angeles businesswoman and international philanthropist. The Herta and Paul Amir Faculty of Social Sciences will be officially dedicated at the Board of Governors’ Meeting.  The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of her contribution to higher education arising from recognition of the importance of education in general, and higher education in particular, for building excellence in the future generation for the State of Israel and for humanity at large; on her contribution to strengthening culture and art around the world; on her longstanding support of the University of Haifa, which has enabled the University to excel and shatter academic boundaries; and on being a true friend of the State of Israel.

Prof. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (USA)

BruceBruce Bueno de Mesquita is a political scientist, professor at New York University, and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of excellence in research that places him among the top scientists in the world; on his being one of the great scholars in the field of international relations in general and studies on conflict, war and peace in particular; on creativity and thinking out of the box thanks to which he developed an innovative school of research; and on his vast and exceptional influence both in the field of academic research and practical application in the field.

Prof. Shafi Goldwasser (Israel/USA)

goldwasserShafrira Goldwasser, an American-born Israeli computer scientist, is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and a professor of mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of academic excellence and groundbreaking research achievements that place her at the forefront of the global scientific community; on her groundbreaking contribution to the development and promotion of computer science in general, and encryption and data security in particular; and on breaking through gender barriers, while demonstrating enormous talent, creativity and originality.

H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Republic of Liberia)

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia with University of Haifa President Amos Shapira before the Honorary Doctorate ceremonies.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa, has been President of Liberia since 2006. In 2011 she was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”  The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of her vision, courage and willingness to march, against every risk and every obstacle, along a path that has led her people to peace and prosperity; on her leadership, ability to act and uncompromisingly struggle for equal rights for women, and for upholding universal values, while giving expression to the fact that success and abilities are not dependent on gender and race; and on her work around the globe to protect human dignity and the right of all mankind to education and freedom.

Dr. Gyongyver and Mr. Peter Kadas (United Kingdom)

kadasThe honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of their significant contribution to the advancement of higher education and scientific research in the world in general, and in Israel in particular; on their contribution to the establishment of the Kadas Green Roofs Ecology Center at the University of Haifa, and their support of cancer research at the University of Haifa, which allows the University’s researchers to be pioneers and leaders in their respective fields; on their vision and commitment to promoting innovative ground breaking research; and on their being true friends of the State of Israel.

Prof. Daniel Kahneman (Israel/USA)

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making,as well as behavioral economics, for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of research excellence that knows no bounds, that positions him among the topmost scientists in the world; on the creativity and rare academic courage that allowed him to integrate insights from research in psychology into the field of economics; on his contribution to the understanding of the human ability to act and make decisions in situations of uncertainty; and on the great honor he has brought to the State of Israel.

Mr. Lee Kohrman (USA)

KohrmanLee Kohrman is an honored Cleveland-based lawyer and the President of the David & Inez Myers Foundation. The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of his commitment and contribution to Israeli society and the Jewish people through leadership, public work and setting an example to others; on his assistance for various projects in education in general and higher education in particular, through an understanding that it is education of the younger generation that will enable social mobility and reduce inequalities; on fostering values of equality and equal opportunities and for his contribution to the Ethiopian community in Israel in general, and the children of the community in particular; and on his longstanding friendship with the University of Haifa.

Mr. Doron Livnat (Israel)

doronThe honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of his outstanding leadership, which blends business success and far-reaching public and social activity; on his assistance to disadvantaged groups in society, out of an understanding and belief that strengthening them is the best guarantee of a more moral, just and successful society; on the contribution to promoting study and research of the Holocaust at the University of Haifa to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and pass the narrative on to future generations; on the continued support of the “Access for All” program and its impact on the population in northern Israel; and on his being an ambassador for the University of Haifa all around the world.

Prof. Charles Milgrom (Israel/USA)

milgrumCharles Milgrom is a professor of orthopedics at the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem. An active officer in the reserves of the Israel Defense Forces, he is a specialist in military medical research and development. The founder of several Israeli high tech start up companies, like his father Hymen Milgrom, he is a graduate of the University of Chicago. The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of his partnering in the vision of the University of Haifa, which promotes development of novel drugs through groundbreaking theoretical and applied research; on his support of research taking place at the University in the natural sciences, support that enables the University to broaden and deepen the boundaries of knowledge, while advancing its application in collaboration with entities in industry; on his recognition of the importance of education in creating public involvement and social activity, which is expressed in his support of the “Ambassadors Online” program; and on his support of the higher education system in Israel, out of a belief in the importance of academic research to strengthening the State of Israel and the advancement of all of mankind.

Prof. David Nirenberg (USA)

nirenbergDavid Nirenberg, an American historian, is Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, as well as the Dean of the Social Sciences Division at the University and the founding Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society. The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of his groundbreaking research excellence and outstanding academic leadership, undeterred from questioning what already exists and is familiar, and offering new insights, founded on knowledge and research; on his analysis of the complexity of relations between Christians, Muslims and Jews in the multicultural society of the Middle Ages, helping to understand the problematic situation relevant to our times; on his recognition that the future lies in understanding the past and interdisciplinary research, a cause that the University of Haifa has also championed; and on his true friendship with Israeli academia and the State of Israel.
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