Join us in welcoming Professor Rivka Carmi as the new Chairperson of NATAL’s Public Advisory Board!

President – Prof. Rivka Carmi

Professor Rivka Carmi served as President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev from May 2006 to December 2018. Professor Carmi was the first and still the only woman to serve as president of an Israeli university. Between the years 2010 and 2012 she also served as the Chairwoman of the Israeli Association of University Heads. Professor Carmi was born in Israel and is a graduate of Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School. She completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in neonatology at the Soroka University Medical Center and an additional fellowship in medical genetics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University Medical School.

Professor Carmi served as Director of the Genetics Institute at the Soroka University Medical Center and held several important academic administrative positions in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 2000, she was elected Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at BGU – also the first woman to hold this position in Israel – and served for five years. Between 2002 – 2005, she was also the Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Medical Deans.

Prior to entering the University’s administrative arena, Professor Carmi’s research focused mainly on the characterization of clinical manifestations and the molecular basis of genetic diseases in the Negev Arab-Bedouin population. Author of over 150 publications in medical genetics, her research included the identification of 12 new genes and the description of three new syndromes, one of which is known as the Carmi Syndrome. Her community outreach projects aimed at preventing hereditary diseases and advancing women’s education in the Bedouin community.

Professor Carmi also served as a member of the Rivlin Public Committee, which examined compensation for employees of Israel’s nuclear research centers and the Locker Committee to Evaluate the Israel Defense Budget.

Noteworthy honors she has received include: the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Yated organization for children with Down Syndrome; the Achievement in Medicine Award from the Municipality of Beer-Sheva; the 2002 Award for Peace from the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO); the 2008 Women of Distinction Award from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America; the 2009 Award in Excellence from the Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association (IAPA); and an Honorary Fellowship from The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in 2010. In 2013, Carmi recived an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Dalhousie University in Canada. In 2015, she was made an honorary Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the name of Queen Elizabeth II. In 2017 Professor Carmi received the Distinguished Citizen of the city of Beer Sheva. In May 2019 she is scheduled to receive an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Brandeis University.

Prof. Carmi serves as a board member and consultant in various public, professional and social committees and organizations and currently serves as the head of NATAL’s Public Council.