Dean Gregory Washington, Chancellor Michael Drake and Delegation Return from Academic Mission to Israel

Highlights included a meeting with Israel President Shimon Peres

UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake and three faculty members recently concluded an academic mission in Israel, forging collaborative research agreements and student and faculty exchanges with the country’s top universities. Among the highlights of the trip was a visit with Israel President Shimon Peres.

“Our meetings with university leaders and President Peres were enlightening and productive,” Drake said. “Together, we were able to identify many similarities between UC Irvine and the top universities in Israel. We look forward to continuing our relationships with these institutions, just as we have with many others around the world, including in South Korea, Norway, Poland, China and others.”

Drake last visited Israel in 2008 to participate in an educational seminar hosted by Project Interchange, an organization that connects worldwide leaders with Israel. Accompanying him on this trip were Kenneth Janda, physical sciences dean; Gregory Washington, engineering dean; Dr. Zeev Kain, associate dean for clinical operations and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care in UCI’s School of Medicine; and Larry Gold, international programs assistant to the provost. They visited with leaders at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University.

The academic teams began developing programs designed to enrich students and faculty for many years.  Washington said his colleagues are arranging student and faculty exchanges in electrical, civil and environmental engineering. Plans are also in the works to establish a workshop on water resources with Ben-Gurion, a subject of critical importance to California and Israel.

“We hope to be working together for quite some time,” added Washington.  “In fact, we plan to establish a joint US/Israeli Conference entitled Communications 2025 which examines the technologies needed for IT and Communications in the year 2025.  Tel Aviv University will organize the Israeli delegation and Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Calit2 will organize the US delegation. We intend to hold the first gathering this fall.”