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Vice President, Director of Center for Israeli-Jewish Identity, Shalom Hartman Institute

Adv. Tziona Koenig-Yair is the Director-General of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs in the Israeli government. She was formerly a Vice President and Director of the Center for Israeli Jewish Identity at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Previously, Tziona was National Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) in the Israeli government. The EEOC is a government body enforcing equal opportunities in the labor market on many grounds of discrimination including race, nationality, religion, and gender. EEOC has both legal and public authority: to investigate discrimination claims, file law suits, and to educate and promote awareness to mainstreaming equality.

Prior to being appointed to establish and create the Commission, she was Head of the Legal Department and Executive Director of the Israel Women’s Network, Israel’s foremost advocacy group for women. Tziona started her legal career as a prosecuting attorney at the District Attorney’s office in Tel Aviv.

She also works with the leadership development organization Maoz and others to enhance and implement here in Israel the framework she learned at Harvard University for the practice of Adaptive Leadership. Adaptive Leadership is a framework for mobilizing change in complex systems in business, public, and NGO sectors. She studied and was teaching assistant for this course at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Tziona also teaches courses on Equality and Diversity in the Workplace and Adaptive Leadership at Tel Aviv University.

In her national and international work, Tziona is committed to mobilizing for social change and promoting social justice. In 2011, she was selected by the Israeli business newspaper, The Marker, as one of the country’s 100 most influential people, for her work in promoting and implementing gender equality in the labor market in Israel.

She holds an LLB degree from the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University and an MPA degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (Wexner Fellow).

Tziona was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and made aliyah with her family in 1981. She currently resides in Bnei Darom with Eyal and their three children.

Tziona Koenig-Yair


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