Terry Kassel: Promoting Israel through tech and culture

No. 41 on The Jerusalem Post's Top 50 Most Influential Jews of 2022: Start-Up Nation Central chair Terry Kassel.

 Terry Kassel, chairman of the board of Start-Up Nation Central. (photo credit: Courtesy of Start-Up Nation Central)
Terry Kassel, chairman of the board of Start-Up Nation Central.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Start-Up Nation Central)

Terry Kassel is a renowned philanthropist who has dedicated her life to giving to the matters she considers most important. She serves as chair of Start-Up Nation Central’s board and is a board member of Shalem College in Jerusalem.

Start-Up Nation Central works to drive forward Israeli innovation by helping new technological ecosystems in the country grow, assisting in forging business relationships between Israeli companies and potential clients abroad, thereby forging strategic partnerships that impact Israel’s diplomatic growth.

Using Israel’s unique technological incubators, Start-Up Nation Central manages to boost Israel diplomatically, allowing the companies within to grow while doing so. From foodtech to healthtech, there is no industry within the Start-Up Nation that isn’t touched by the organization’s impact. And, as chairperson of the board, Kassel is a leading force in driving that forward.

As an example, Start-Up Nation Central hosted eight UN ambassadors in 2021 to show them Israeli sustainability solutions – one of the few initiatives to introduce international representatives and potential investment opportunities to Israel’s growing climate-tech industry.

This is not the only aspect of her work in which Kassel touches on technology and innovation. As trustee of the Paul E. Singer Foundation, Kassel plays a key role in the foundation’s work to “support and create innovative and effective organizations and initiatives that strengthen American democracy, the future of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and Jewish continuity.”

 From left to right: Start-Up Nation Central Chairperson, Terry Kassel, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, Start-Up Nation Central’s CEO, Avi Hasson. (credit: AHIKAM BEN YOSEF) From left to right: Start-Up Nation Central Chairperson, Terry Kassel, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, Start-Up Nation Central’s CEO, Avi Hasson. (credit: AHIKAM BEN YOSEF)

What else can Terry Kassel do?

Her roots lie in investment management, having previously been global head of human resources and a member of the Operating Committee at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. from 2001 to 2006; counsel and head of human resources for the Private Client Division at Merrill Lynch from 2000 to 2001; and litigation counsel at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith from 1985 to 2000.

Today, she is head of strategic human resources at Elliott Investment Management L.P. and serves on the Management Committee, also serving as a member of the Compliance and Operational Risk Committee. Elliott is one of the oldest fund managers of its kind under continuous management, managing approximately $55.7 billion in assets.

Beyond that, she sits on the boards of several organizations she favors in the cultural sector as well, such as board member of Barnes & Noble and the Jewish Food Society.  

Kassel earned a JD law degree from Seton Hall University and a BA in political science from New York University.