Presentation of the Technion Medal to Mortimer B. Zuckerman in recognition of his vision for creating the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program.L-R: Jeff Richard, CEO of the American Technion Society; Paula Zahn, Award-winning Journalist; Professor Peretz Lavie, President of the Technion, Mortimer B..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Mortimer B. Zuckerman was presented with The Technion Medal, the highest honor of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology at a festive dinner in New York City on Monday.
A business leader and philanthropist, Zuckerman was honored for establishing the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program — a transformative initiative designed to foster collaboration between scientists in the US and Israel.
In the Technion citation for the award, Mr. Zuckerman was recognized for his “visionary support of higher education in the United States and Israel, including the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program that will have a profound impact on the work of the scholars involved, strengthen existing collaborations between the United States and Israel and pave the road to future cooperation across multiple areas of science & technology.”
“The idea is to have Israelis study at the highest level of technology and science in America and vice versa, for Americans in Israel,” says Mr. Zuckerman. “The object is not just the intellectual accomplishments, but the establishment of connections that are personal, as well as professional. In this case one plus one here equals three. Each could bring the other to a level that they would never have had access to unless they had this kind of working relationship.”
More than 100 guests attended the event, held at Le Bernardin Prive. During the pre-dinner reception, “Technion Innovators” demonstrated new technology that ranged from the next-generation baby monitor to a tongue-controlled assistive device for those who are disabled. Award-winning television news anchor Paula Zahn served as Master of Ceremonies.
Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie applauded Mr. Zuckerman’s vision in presenting him with the Technion Medal. “We proudly honor Mort for his foresight and leadership in building bridges between the US and Israel through this game-changing initiative,” said Professor Lavie. “Collaboration and cooperation are crucial in today’s fast-paced world of science. This is a win-win for both countries.”
Under the Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholars Program, the highest-achieving researchers from the US will have the opportunity to study in Israel; the reverse holds true for Israeli students. For the academic year 2016-2017, six postdoctoral researchers from North America will collaborate with leading scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, as well as The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. Rounding out the research exchange, four Israeli postdocs will study in the US.
The Technion Medal is reserved for exceptional individuals who have made unstinting efforts to advance humanity, and whose generous support has proved critical in advancing the Technion. Since its establishment in 1996, the Medal has been awarded only 15 times. Previous recipients include Qualcomm co-founder and Technion supporter Irwin M. Jacobs; Israel Supreme Court Justice Moshe Landau; former Technion President and celebrated Israeli military leader Gen. (Res.) Amos Horev; and Technion graduate and an early founder of Israel’s high-tech industry, Uzia Galil.