Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed Prof. Avi Simhon as chairman of Israel's National Economic Council. The National Economic Council serves as a coordinating body for the Prime Minister on topics which require comprehensive and methodological economic thinking, and assists in decision-making processes. Prof. Simhon will succeed Professor Eugene Kandel who has been in the position since July 2009.
The appointment requires approval by both the Civil Service Commissioner and the cabinet.
Simhon was considered the leading candidate for the job but Netanyahu reportedly attempted to persuade other senior economists to accept the position. After announcing Simhon's appointment, Netanyahu said, "I am convinced that Prof. Avi Simhon, as chairman of the National economic Council, will assist the government in coping with the economic and social challenges that it faces and will continue to lead Israel's economy to growth and prosperity for the benefit of all Israel's citizens."
Simhon, Professor of Environmental Economics and Management in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot, served as former Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz's senior economic advisor from 2010-2012. He also served on the Trajtenberg Committee for Social Change set up after the cost of living protests in 2011.
Steinitz, currently Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources said, 'I am convinced that a talented, professional, expert in macroeconomic like Avi will successfully lead the National Economic Council and leave his mark there. I wish Prof. Simhon every success in his new job."
Simhon thanked Netanyahu for his faith in him and said, "I hope to assist in leading important measures to strengthen the status of Israel's economy and improve the welfare of Israel's citizens. I'm aware of the responsibility borne by the head of the National economic Council. I know that an excellent and professional staff is waiting to work with me at the National Economic Council and I will benefit from the advice and help from my predecessor."
Kandel said, "I appreciate Avi as both a deep thinking and talented macroeconomist and I'm sure that under his leadership, together with the excellent staff, the Council will continue to be one of the main and most important bodies setting Israel's economic policies and in the decisions taken by the cabinet. I wish him and the Council every success and productive work for the benefit of the State of Israel and its citizens."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 13, 2015
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