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A leading Israeli computer scientist who has been living in the US and serving as dean of Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science for 11 years, Prof. Zvi Galil, has been named as the new president of Tel Aviv University. He will replace former Israeli ambassador to the US Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, who is completing his second term as president, in June.
A search committee headed by TAU board of directors chairman Dov Lautman announced the unanimous nomination on Saturday night. Now Galil's name will be brought before the university's senate on Wednesday and then immediately to the board of directors for approval.
The search committee met with Galil in New York and the six other candidates - all of them TAU professors - in Israel. Galil received his BA and MA in applied mathematics from Tel Aviv University and his Ph.D. in computer science at Cornell University in New York.
From 1982 to 1995, he commuted between Israel and the US, teaching computer sciences both at Columbia and at TAU. When named head of the Columbia department, he decided to spend all his time there. In 2004 he became a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the next year a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The TAU search committee said it found all seven candidates for the presidency to be worthy, but recommended Galil because of his "proven record of years of academic leadership and administrative abilities."