Professor Joseph Klafter

Professor Joseph Klafter served as eighth President of Tel Aviv University from 2009 to 2019. Widely recognized in his field, chemical physics, he chaired the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), the main institution supporting scientific research in Israel, from 2002 to 2009.


Professor Klafter has published close to 400 scientific articles, edited 18 books and is the co-author of First Steps in Random Walks: From Tools to Applications (Oxford University Press, 2011). He has been a member of the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals and a member of the scientific committees of dozens of conferences.


In 2011, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected him an honorary member, and he is also a fellow of the American Physical Society. Professor Klafter has won many prestigious prizes in his field, including the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Prize, the Weizmann Prize for Sciences, the Rothschild Prize in Chemistry, and the Israel Chemical Society Prize. He holds an honorary doctorate from Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland; received the “Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy” distinction from the President of Italy; was awarded an Honorary Professorship of Tsinghua University, China; and received an honorary doctorate from the Slovak Academy of Sciences.


Professor Klafter completed his BSc and MSc in physics at Bar-Ilan University, and his PhD in chemistry at Tel Aviv University. After post-doctoral studies in chemistry at MIT, he joined the research and engineering division of Exxon in the US, where he worked for eight years. He joined the TAU Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry in 1987, and was promoted to full professor in 1989. From 1998 to 2003 he was the incumbent of the Gordon Chair in Chemistry, and from 2003 onward he has held the Heineman Chair of Physical Chemistry. He also served as the

Chair of the Committee of University Heads of Israel (“VERA”) from 2017 to 2018.