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The Council for Higher Education appointed Shimshon Shoshani deputy chairman on Monday, as recommended by the council's chairman, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.

The council said in announcing the decision that the deputy chairman helps the chairman set the agenda for the council and its meetings, conducts council meetings in the chairman's absence and chairs the council's inspection and enforcement committee.

Shoshani is not an academic. He served as director general of the Education Ministry in 1986-89, under Education Minister Yitzhak Navon; in 1993-96, under Shulamit Aloni and Amnon Rubinstein; and in 2009-11, under Sa'ar. Prior to his most recent stint at the ministry he served as CEO of Birthright/Taglit and as director general of the Jewish Agency.

Shoshani has a bachelor's degree in literature and Bible studies from Bar-Ilan University, a master's in education from Tel Aviv University and a doctorate in educational administration from New York University.

Council officials said most deputy chairmen of the organization have not been academics.