Tulane University President Mike Fitts is among a delegation of presidents of American universities and colleges visiting Israel this week to learn about technological innovation and boost bilateral academic research and exchange opportunities.
“This visit is an exciting opportunity to explore ways in which Tulane can collaborate with Israeli universities and other institutions around the world to address longstanding societal problems in the environment, healthcare, energy and numerous other areas,” Fitts said.
Organized by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Project Interchange, the trip encourages university presidents from the United States to exchange ideas with their Israeli counterparts and explore opportunities for collaboration similar to such academic partnerships as the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute and the University of California and Israel Innovation Authority Partnership.
The university presidents will meet with leadership at Israel’s Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University, Tel Aviv University and the Technion in order to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation and learn about Israeli universities’ world-leading expertise in transfer technology.
“The world-class research and educational facilities at Israeli universities and colleges provide a fitting setting for great minds to share information, discuss research partnerships and explore opportunities for mutually-beneficial collaboration,” said Robin Levenston-Kudisch, executive director of the AJC Project Interchange.
The Project Interchange delegation will provide higher education leaders with a first-hand understanding of Israel, its vibrant democracy, diverse society and regional challenges. During their visit, the university presidents will engage a variety of perspectives from Israeli Jewish and Arab experts across the political and social spectrum. Discussions will focus on Israel’s high-tech and entrepreneurial landscape, security challenges, diversity in Israeli society and Israel’s approach to global humanitarian aid.
The delegation also will travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian experts on society, higher education and entrepreneurship in the Palestinian Authority.
In addition to Fitts, the 17-member delegation includes the presidents of Cornell University, California State University at San Bernardino, Northern Arizona University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Sonoma State University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, University of San Diego and University of Vermont.