Queen Elizabeth II to bestow ‘rare honor’ on Israeli university president

Professor Rivka Carmi, president of Ben-Gurion University, is being recognized for her work on strengthening scientific and academic cooperation between the U.K. and Israel.

Queen Elizabeth II will bestow a “rare honor” on Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Professor Carmi, the first woman president of an Israeli university, will be made an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), for her part in strengthening scientific and academic cooperation between Israel and the U.K.

A founder and co-chair of the U.K. Israel Science Council, established in 2010, which promotes academic collaboration between the two countries. Areas of focus have included “cutting-edge stem cell research to tackle some of the world’s most dreadful diseases,” the British Embassy in Israel said on Monday.

“I am thrilled to accept this honor which recognizes the increasing links between the U.K. and Israel, especially in science,” Professor Carmi said. The Science Council “has been a flagship initiative, demonstrating the great potential for collaboration between our two countries. We are committed to improving the health of all nations and sharing our scientific discoveries,” she added.

British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said  he was “delighted” at the news.

“Rivka is an inspiration, to me and many others. Her leadership and commitment to strengthen science collaboration between our countries has made a huge difference. Israel is lucky to have her as a leader; Britain is lucky to have her as a friend,” he said.

According to the embassy, there has been an increase in scientific collaboration in recent months. This has included “the second round of projects of the BIRAX joint medical research initiative, launch of several student exchange programs and scholarships in top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, and a unique cooperation agreement between the UK’s prestigious Royal Society and the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities.”

:: Haaretz