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  • The Steady Hand of Leadership

    A passion for TAU and Israel, combined with vitality and charisma, characterizes French Friends President Prof. François Heilbronn
    09 January 2014
    TAU French Friends President Prof. François Heilbronn

    Since taking up the presidency of the French Friends of Tel Aviv University in 2003, Prof. François Heilbronn has left an indelible mark on one of the University’s most successful, cohesive and loyal Friends associations.


    With over 1,200 members, the French Friends Association has flourished under Heilbronn’s leadership. He has brought in many young members as well as an extensive network of contacts in the academic, public and business spheres. The Association has dramatically augmented TAU's standing in France, holding high-profile events in Paris and bringing French President François Hollande to the campus during his 2013 Israel state visit. The appearance was significant for the French-speaking community in Israel and also showcased TAU know-how and innovation to notable French business delegations.


    The French Friends stand out particularly for their support of needy students at TAU – a commitment that was initiated by the longtime French Friends President, the late Hugo Ramniceanu, and reinforced by Prof. Heilbronn.  


    Since 2008, Prof. Heilbronn has served as Vice Chairman of the TAU Board of Governors and on the 2009 Dan David Prize Committee. For his dedication and outstanding contribution to the University, he was awarded the TAU President’s Prize in 2005.


    Prof. Heilbronn is the Managing Partner of the consulting firm M.M. Friedrich, Heilbronn & Fiszer. He graduated from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris in 1983 and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School. He is an associate professor in business strategy at Sciences Po Paris. Seven years ago he facilitated the establishment of an exchange program between Sciences Po and TAU.


    Prof. Heilbronn has been involved in Jewish and Zionist organizations since a young age. He is a member of the Board and of the Executive Committee of the Fondation du Mémorial de la Shoah-Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine à Paris, and a member of the Central Committee and Board of Directors of the Alliance Israelite Universelle.


    “The French Friends are one of the most vital and active of our friends associations, and we are lucky to have François at their helm," said TAU President Joseph Klafter. "He is a man of action and a man of letters, as well as a passionate and committed humanist."  


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