Economist Manuel Trajtenberg to Head Prominent Israeli Think Tank

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Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg in the Knesset, in 2016.
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg in the Knesset, in 2016.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg was appointed on Monday to lead Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies. Trajtenberg will replace former general Amos Yadlin, who headed the independent think tank for the last decade.

An economist, Trajtenberg is the first person from his field to be appointed to the position, which is usually held by former senior defense officials. Frank Lowy, the chairman of the INSS board of directors, announced the appointment on Monday.

Trajtenberg, 70, is a professor of economics at Tel Aviv University. He was born in Argentina and moved to Israel when he was 16. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984, and in 2006 founded the National Economic Council within the Prime Minister’s Office.

Following the mass socioeconomic protests in the summer of 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Trajtenberg to chair a committee to recommend economic changes in response to the crisis. In 2015, he ran for the Knesset with the Zionist Union party and served a single term.

The INSS said Trajtenberg will expand the institute’s research fields by establishing a new program for social and economic research. This will join the institute's ongoing strategic, diplomatic and defense-related research.