Matthew became British Ambassador to Israel in September 2010. He is the first Jewish Ambassador that Britain has sent to Israel. Since arriving in Israel he has travelled extensively around the country, set up the UK-Israel Life Sciences Council, launched a major push to promote UK-Israel tech links, and hosted numerous top level British visitors. He is also learning Hebrew, slowly.

He previously served as Principal Private Secretary (Chief of Staff) to the Foreign Secretary (both David Miliband and William Hague). Before that he worked briefly as Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs for Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown in Downing Street. He was Robin Cook's speechwriter from 1997 to 1999.

He has done four diplomatic postings overseas:

- in Washington he was Foreign Policy counsellor and representative of the Joint Intelligence Committee;

- he was the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Iran (2003-5), and spent five months as Acting Ambassador. He used to speak moderate Farsi;

- he spent a year in Pakistan just after 9/11 heading up the Embassy’s political section;

- as the political officer at the British Embassy in Manila (1994-7), he was awarded the MBE for setting a programme of co-operation on tackling child abuse between British and Philippine police.


Matthew got married in October 2009 to Celia (who is from Muswell Hill). Their daughter, Rachel Elizabeth, was born in April 2011, in Tel Aviv. They live at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Ramat Gan, with two Labradors and three cats. They are both members of West London Synagogue.

He is 41 years old. He grew up in Sudbury Hill in NW London. He went to St Paul’s School, and then read Philosophy and Theology at Peterhouse, Cambridge. Before Cambridge he spent a year teaching English and maths at Nyarakunda secondary school in the Tribal Trust lands in Northern Zimbabwe. In 1993 he published a paper on termite feeding preferences in dry coastal forests in Tanzania. He is an enthusiastic show jumper, skier and scuba diver, and owns a horse, stabled just outside Netanya.

Haim Shan

The UK Israel Tech Hub chairman. Haim Shani was appointed director general of Israel's Ministry of Finance in 2009. He previously served as CEO of Nice Systems, which serves more than 25,000 organizations in the enterprise and security sectors in more than 150 countries. As CEO, Shani led strategic initiatives for growth through successful penetration of new markets and technology innovation. Under his leadership, the company grew from $100 million to over $600 million. Shani came to Nice from Applied Materials (Israel), where he served as vice president, heading up the process diagnostic and control business. Prior to joining Applied Materials, Shani held various management positions at Orbotech Ltd.: as corporate vice president of marketing and business development, president of Orbotech's subsidiary in Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong, and president of Orbotech Europe, based in Brussels. Shani holds a bachelor's degree in industrial and management engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and a master's degree in business administration from INSEAD.

Eyal Gura

Eyal is a Venture Partner at Pitango , the largest VC in Israel ($1.5B under management). Most recently Eyal was the founding investor of ThegiftsProject ( acquired by eBay). Eyal Co-Founded and served as CEO of the image-advertising company PicApp Inc ( acquired by Ybrant Digital). Prior to PicApp , Eyal Co-Founded and served as CEO and chairman of PicScout Inc , a Deloitte FAST10 company ( acquired by GettyImages). Eyal serves on the Advisory board of Tmura.org and was recently named by TheMarker Magazine and Globes Magazine as one of Israel’s 40 under 40 leaders.

Prior to earning his MBA from the Wharton Business school, Eyal graduated his BA with the Zell Entrepreneurship Program of IDC Herzliya, where he also Co-Founded the IEC ( first entrepreneurship club in Israel) and now lectures about entrepreneurship and customer development. Gura served in the Israeli Navy Submarine Flotilla in various command positions and despite his workaholic habits, he enjoys scuba-diving , aikido and is a keen karaoke singer.

Prof Yesha Sivan

Prof. Yesha Sivan is the head of the Management Information Systems (MIS) Program (http://is.mta.ac.il) at the School of Management and Economy at the Tel-Aviv-Yaffo academic college (http://www.mta.ac.il). He is also the founder of Metaverse Labs (MVL) - a leading think tank focusing on connecting virtual and real worlds. Sivan's professional experience includes developing and deploying innovative solutions for corporate, hi-tech, government, and defense environments (see for example: the Harvard 9-Keys for Knowledge Infrastructure). He published numerous papers in the areas of Strategy and IT, knowledge, 3D3C virtual worlds, and standards. Sivan received his doctorate from Harvard University. His avatar is Dera Kit, and his blog is http://www.dryesha.com. He has taught EMBA, MBA, engineering and design in the areas of strategic value of IT, the emergence of virtual worlds, and software development in virtual worlds.

Dr. Ze'ev Ganor

 Dr. Ze'ev Ganor is a serial entrepreneur with ten start-ups and over 30 years experience in senior management, R&D, international marketing & sales, and business development. In his entrepreneurial endeavors, Ze'ev has held various positions such as Chairman, CEO, Vice President, and a Board member in the fields of telecommunication, medical devices, ultrasonic precision motors, semiconductor equipment, automaton, robotics, medical imaging equipment, and computers. Previously he was in charge of system engineering and integration of a navigation and weapons delivery system for combat airplanes. Ze'ev has authored several text books in electronics and computer science, as well as over 30 patents' families in the fields of telecommunications, medical devices, precision motion systems, laser control, ultrasonic motors, textile machines, hard disks drives, cameras, and medical imaging systems. Ze'ev holds a B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering from the Technion, Israel’s premier technology-focused university, an MBA from Manchester University (UK), and a PhD in Business Administration (Entrepreneurship) from ARU University (UK). Dr. Ze'ev Ganor is also an Entrepreneurship Researcher, and a Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Technion.

Hanadi Said

Diverse international background. Proficient in 4 languages, Arabic, English, French and Hebrew. Experience in the USA, Canada and EMEA. Auditing banks and financial institutions, internal audit, internal controls, ERM, business planning, corporate governance, antifraud services.

Specialties:Specializes in the field of organizational risk management

Dr. Yuval Avni

Dr. Yuval Avni, Partner, has been with Giza since 2008. Focusing on investments in the life science and cleantech sectors, he is involved in the entire investment process - sourcing, screening and due diligence. Yuval led or co-led investments in LifeBond, Takadu, VisionCare, Navotek, Aleees, Danen and Solapoint and is currently on the board of Navotek, VisionCare, LifeBond and IceCure. He is also a consultant and member of the investment committee of GPV, a Giza-sponsored Warsaw-based early stage venture capital fund.


Yuval is a trained medical doctor; with four years of clinical experience in general surgery and vascular surgery. He has conducted clinical research in the areas of human genetics, general surgery and vascular surgery.


Yuval serves as an airborne rescue and evacuation physician in the Israel Air Force (Reserves) and a consultant on new technologies to the IAF chief medical officer. Prior to his medical studies, Yuval served for five years in the Israel Defense Forces as an officer in an elite intelligence unit.


Yuval is a visiting lecturer on entrepreneurship and fund raising at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University and is a consultant on entrepreneurship to ORT, Israel's leading technological school network. He is active in StarTAU - the Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Center, and Technion for Life - the Technion alumni entrepreneurship program.


Yuval received his medical training at the Technion and holds a Bachelor's degree (with honors) from the Technion in medical science.

Muhammad Zahalqa

Muhammad is a veteran entrepreneur and a software development professional with a proven track of founding and managing three companies in Israel hi-tech industry.

His current interests include establishing a new start-up in the medium of social video, consulting on enterprise software architecture and growing organic tomatoes. 

Muhammad is an active figure in the hi-tech community. He leads the GDG Nazareth group and organized the first hackathon and the first "breakfast with angles" events in Nazareth in 2012. Two event that where huge success and brought together Arabs and Jews to network and work on ideas. 

Clare Gilboa

Clare Gilboa worked in IT Business Change Management, publicity and marketing and ran her own sales territory across the UK. She then completed her teacher training in English Literature and Language and taught in English high school for 3 years. In Mexico she established and ran a school for English as a second language, wrote courses and taught Business English for the Tourism and Finance sectors. Since living in Israel, Clare has managed a variety of Business English programmes and worked as The British Council’s English Learning Consultant.


Go to The British Council LearnEnglish (link) website Business and work pages and you can find materials to start helping you developing your professional English skills.