Rivka Carmi

Advisory Board Member
President of Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Professor Rivka Carmi has served as President of Ben Gurion University of the Negev since May 2006.

Professor Rivka Carmi was elected to serve as President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev by the University’s Board of Governors in May 2006. She is the first woman to serve as president of an Israeli university. Since late 2010 she has also served as the Chairwoman of the Israeli Association of University Heads.

Professor Carmi was born in Israel and is a graduate of Hadassah Medical School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed a residency in pediatrics, 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 Genetic 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. Promoted to full professor in 1995, she is the incumbent of the Kreitman Foundation Chair in Pediatric Genetics. 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 her entry into the administrative arena of the University, Professor Carmi’s research focused mainly on the delineation of the clinical manifestations and 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 delineation of three new syndromes, one of which is known as the Carmi Syndrome. Her community projects were aimed at preventing hereditary diseases in the Bedouin community. She was deeply involved with the establishment of major biotechnology initiatives at Ben-Gurion University , primarily serving as the Acting Director of the then nascent National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev.

In addition to her duties as President, Professor Carmi remains a member and serves as a consultant of national, professional and public committees and organizations. Noteworthy honors she has received include: the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Yated organization for children with Downs Syndrome; the Achievement in Medicine Award by the Municipality of Beer-Sheva; the 2002 Award for Peace from the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO), to which she served as representative of the Israeli Medical Deans; the 2008 Women of Distinction Award of the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America; the 2009 Award in Excellence from the Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association (IAPA). In 2010 Professor Carmi was awarded with an Honorary Fellowship of The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, in 2013 she recived and Honorary Doctorate Degree from Dalhousie University in Canada and in 2015 she received Rotary's Paul Harris Fellow recognition.