Press Release

President Reuven Rivlin Joins IDI as Honorary Chair

Israel's tenth President to focus on bridging gaps and strengthening democratic values

Left to right: Yohanan Plesner, President Reuven Rivlin

Israel's former president, Reuven Rivlin, will be the new Honorary Chair of the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem. This position was previously filled by former US Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who passed away in February 2021. In his new role at IDI, President Rivlin will focus on bringing Israelis together and strengthening their commitment to core democratic values and institutions.

"The Israel Democracy Institute is a beacon of knowledge, expertise and professionalism," said President Rivlin. "In an era of an overwhelming abundance of information, the experts at IDI possess the unique capabilities that allow them to provide rational, well-researched analysis and put forth policy proposals that improve Israel's standing and better the lives of all the country's citizens," the former president continued.

IDI President Yohanan Plesner welcomed President Rivlin to the Institute: "After a period of political instability that has served as a real-world stress-test for Israeli democracy and society, we are deeply honored and humbled that President Rivlin has chosen to devote his post-presidency years to serving as Honorary Chair of IDI. President Rivlin's intellect and international stature are sure to make a profound contribution to our advocacy and outreach."

Amir Elstein, Chair of IDI's Board of Directors, added: "Throughout his years in public office, President Rivlin has made bridging the gaps in Israeli society a central element of his service. Just as he opened up the gates of the President's Residence to Israelis from all walks of lives, President Rivlin is sure to play a significant role in bringing the message and values of IDI to Israel's diverse communities."

About Former President Reuven Rivlin:

Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin was first elected to the Twelfth Knesset (1988–1992) as a member of the Likud faction. He later served in the Knesset from 1996 until his election as president in 2014. In 2001, Rivlin was appointed Minister of Communications by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and served in that position for two years.

Rivlin was elected Speaker of the Knesset in the Sixteenth Knesset (2003–2006) and in the Eighteenth Knesset (2009–2013), he was elected to this position once again. During his terms as Speaker, Rivlin promoted the independence of the Knesset vis-à-vis the government, and gained broad public recognition for his defense of Israeli democracy and his efforts to ensure the rights of Israel's minorities.

On June 10, 2014, Rivlin was elected President of the State of Israel. As President, Rivlin declared his commitment to safeguarding the State of Israel as “Jewish and democratic, and democratic and Jewish at the same time,” and to work for a strong partnership between the diverse ideological groups in Israeli society and ensure full equality among all its citizens.

About IDI:

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) is an independent center of research and action dedicated to strengthening the foundations of Israeli democracy. IDI works to bolster the values and institutions of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. A non-partisan think-and-do tank, the institute harnesses rigorous applied research to educate decision makers and help shape policy, legislation and public opinion. The institute partners with government, policy and decision makers, civil service and society, to improve the functioning of the government and its institutions, confront security threats while preserving civil liberties, and foster solidarity within Israeli society.