Rivlin joins Israel Democracy Institute as honorary chairman

Former president praises the think tank as ‘a beacon of knowledge, expertise and professionalism’

Amy Spiro is a reporter and writer with The Times of Israel.

President Reuven Rivlin addresses a group of UN ambassadors in New York on June 29, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin addresses a group of UN ambassadors in New York on June 29, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Former president Reuven Rivlin is joining the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) as its honorary chairman, the think tank announced on Sunday.

Rivlin, who left office in July at the conclusion of his seven-year term as president and was replaced by Isaac Herzog, will “focus on bringing Israelis together and strengthening their commitment to core democratic values and institutions,” the IDI said in a statement.

The position of honorary chairman had previously been held by former US secretary of state George Shultz, who died in February.

“The Israel Democracy Institute is a beacon of knowledge, expertise and professionalism,” said Rivlin, according to the IDI statement. “In an era of an overwhelming abundance of information, the experts at IDI possess the unique capabilities that allow them to provide rational, well-researched analysis and put forth policy proposals that improve Israel’s standing and better the lives of all the country’s citizens.”

Yohanan Plesner, IDI president and a former Knesset member, welcomed Rivlin to the organization.

“After a period of political instability that has served as a real-world stress-test for Israeli democracy and society, we are deeply honored and humbled that President Rivlin has chosen to devote his post-presidency years to serving as honorary chair of IDI,” said Plesner. “President Rivlin’s intellect and international stature are sure to make a profound contribution to our advocacy and outreach.”

The Jerusalem-based think tank and democracy watchdog conducts research and carries out polls relating to government institutions, economic growth, Israeli democracy, public opinion and many other areas, as well as partnering with government bodies to implement its recommendations.

Last month, Rivlin also joined the Israeli electric vehicle tech startup Electreon as its president.

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