perspectives
Adi Hachmon
Fellow, 2008-2010
Water infrastructures referent, Budgets Office,
Ministry of Finance
What I've learned since I joined the Milken Institute Fellows Program is more than I learned in all my university studies," said Adi Hachmon, just four months after she joined the fellows program in 2009. In those four months, Hachmon had already undergone intensive training, read dozens of studies, and attended a few seminars and Financial Innovations Labs™ organized by the Milken Institute Israel Center.

Hachmon, who holds a bachelor's degree in economics and cognitive science from Jerusalem's Hebrew University, was able to pursue a master's in financial economics during her two years as a fellow. Her focus is on economic models and theory, and she enjoys the combination of theory and practice. The program "is made for me," she said. "I'm doing research yet making practical recommendations and am involved in issues of concern to society as a whole."

The two-year fellow interned at the Bank of Israel. Her first-year research explored the possible ramifications of Israel's upgrade to developed market status by the global indices firm MSCI. Hachmon helped the Milken Institute's research team expand the project and deliver it to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and other financial regulators. In her second year, Hachmon was involved in a special project: a cross-regulatory review of Israel's corporate bonds market, focusing on the recent crisis. An example of much-needed inter-agency cooperation, her project was done in tandem with fellow Shaul Zilberman and supervised by Professor Glenn Yago of the Milken Institute, Dr. Gitit Gur Gershgoren of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) and Michael (Miki) Kahn of the Bank of Israel.

Hachmon was one of three fellows to present at a special panel in 2009 at the Globes Israel Business Conference – Israel's biggest business gathering. The fellows outlined Israel's capital market performance and forecast its future for panelists from the ISA, Ministry of Finance, Bank of Israel, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, leading institutional investors, and top private equity firms, as well as an audience of about 150 senior executives, regulators and business leaders.

"The program's standards are high, and we work hard to meet the challenge and seize the opportunities the fellows program provided us" Hachmon said. "It's not common for three young professionals in their mid-20s to frame a major economic discussion, well-attended by industry leaders, in such a high-profile and distinguished venue. … We were able to create a common ground for industry-wide discussion, and the demand for our research and PowerPoint was outstanding."

After completing her fellowship, Hachmon continued to work at the Bank of Israel before joining the Ministry of Finance's budget office. She has volunteered to mentor the next class of fellows, sharing her advice and encouraging them to maximize the opportunities for learning and personal growth.
Amit Ashkenazy
Fellow, 2008-2010
Graduate Student, Yale
When Amit Ashkenazy joined the Koret–Milken Institute Fellows Program, he had no idea that within a few months he would conduct a national survey on ways to fund restoration, cleanup and development of Israel's waterways, and eventually lead the environmental caucus' activity in the Knesset.

During the fellows program selection process, I said I was interested in topics concerning sustainable development. I never imagined that in such a short period of time I could be working with the leading Knesset member in the field in Israel, be so close to the decision-making centers and learn from the inner circle of experts in the environmental-societal field," Ashkenazy said. "The program allowed me to move sharply from theory to practice. I learned about many related topics and through the program I learned to examine things through the lens of economics and finance, and think practically and more critically. This increased my ability to help implementing decisions and better evaluate their consequences."

Ashkenazy, who has a B.A. in government, diplomacy and strategy from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, spent his first year interning for Knesset member Dr. Dov Khenin. He worked closely with Khenin's aide on environmental issues, analyzing and investigating public transportation, energy, gray water, and related financial regulations and planning processes. Ashkenazy also evaluated prospective environmental projects.

Soon, Ashkenazy assumed responsibility for coordinating and leading the activities of the Knesset's environmental-societal caucus. The caucus – the largest and most active in that session of the Knesset – influenced decisions made by governmental bodies, government-owned corporations and local authorities.

"My research, particularly the two Financial Innovations Labs run by the Milken Institute in Israel during November 2008, allow me exceptional access to leading figures in the field of water management in Israel," Ashkenazy said at the time. "As a Milken Institute fellow, I am learning a tremendous amount from MK Khenin about ways to turn innovative ideas into operative suggestions. For me, the biggest advantage of the fellows program is the ability to advance and accelerate the research conclusions through the placement you are given, and contribute to legislative suggestions based on information and research."

In his second year as a fellow, Ashkenazy interned at the Ministry of Transportation, where he researched the key barriers for increasing the use of public transportation in Tel Aviv. After completing two years as a fellow in 2010, Ashkenazy began studying for a master's degree in environmental management at Yale University.
Arik Peretz
Internship supervisor, Ministry of Finance
2008-2010
Deputy CEO at Psagot investments house
Senior officials who oversee Milken Institute fellows in their internships say the program benefits the ministries at least as much as the interns.

The Institute is present and supports the regulators without pushing any agenda. This is a rare phenomenon that allows us to benefit from the Milken Institute's ideas and human capital," said Arik Peretz, deputy CEO at Psagot investments house and the former senior deputy commissioner of Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings (CMIS), the Ministry of Finance division that oversees financial services in Israel.

In addition, he said, "the Milken Institute contributes to Israeli public debate by exposing government officials and professionals to innovative ideas and new subject matters through the events and Financial Innovations Labs™ it holds in Israel and the United States."

"Every year we decide together with the Milken Institute on a topic of research that our fellow will undertake. This way are able to examine in depth issues that are important, strategic and on our radar but are being pushed to the bottom of the pile due to day-to-day load."

Peretz said CMIS was extremely pleased with the performance of fellow Anat Arbel, who interned there for two years and played a key role in the activities of the Hodak Committee, formed to regulate the corporate bond market.

"In less than a year Anat managed to gain the trust and respect of her colleagues at the Ministry of Finance and among the members of the committee," Peretz said. "Anat coordinated the collection of materials; reached out and interviewed professionals in Israel and abroad to obtain information and data; conducted specific literature reviews at the request of the committee and actively participated in writing the report."

The quality of the Milken Institute Fellows Program and the ability to retain fellows for a second year of fellowship make the program unique, Peretz said. "It allowed Anat to be an integral part of the team, carry out research and support key issues on the agenda of the division."
Adi Hachmon
Fellow, 2008-2010
Water infrastructures referent, Budgets Office,
Ministry of Finance
What I've learned since I joined the Milken Institute Fellows Program is more than I learned in all my university studies," said Adi Hachmon, just four months after she joined the fellows program in 2009. In those four months, Hachmon had already undergone intensive training, read dozens of studies, and attended a few seminars and Financial Innovations Labs™ organized by the Milken Institute Israel Center.

Hachmon, who holds a bachelor's degree in economics and cognitive science from Jerusalem's Hebrew University, was able to pursue a master's in financial economics during her two years as a fellow. Her focus is on economic models and theory, and she enjoys the combination of theory and practice. The program "is made for me," she said. "I'm doing research yet making practical recommendations and am involved in issues of concern to society as a whole."

The two-year fellow interned at the Bank of Israel. Her first-year research explored the possible ramifications of Israel's upgrade to developed market status by the global indices firm MSCI. Hachmon helped the Milken Institute's research team expand the project and deliver it to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and other financial regulators. In her second year, Hachmon was involved in a special project: a cross-regulatory review of Israel's corporate bonds market, focusing on the recent crisis. An example of much-needed inter-agency cooperation, her project was done in tandem with fellow Shaul Zilberman and supervised by Professor Glenn Yago of the Milken Institute, Dr. Gitit Gur Gershgoren of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) and Michael (Miki) Kahn of the Bank of Israel.

Hachmon was one of three fellows to present at a special panel in 2009 at the Globes Israel Business Conference – Israel's biggest business gathering. The fellows outlined Israel's capital market performance and forecast its future for panelists from the ISA, Ministry of Finance, Bank of Israel, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, leading institutional investors, and top private equity firms, as well as an audience of about 150 senior executives, regulators and business leaders.

"The program's standards are high, and we work hard to meet the challenge and seize the opportunities the fellows program provided us" Hachmon said. "It's not common for three young professionals in their mid-20s to frame a major economic discussion, well-attended by industry leaders, in such a high-profile and distinguished venue. … We were able to create a common ground for industry-wide discussion, and the demand for our research and PowerPoint was outstanding."

After completing her fellowship, Hachmon continued to work at the Bank of Israel before joining the Ministry of Finance's budget office. She has volunteered to mentor the next class of fellows, sharing her advice and encouraging them to maximize the opportunities for learning and personal growth.
Anat Arbel
Fellow, 2008-2010
Capital markets analyst in the Capital Markets,
Insurance & Savings Division at the Ministry of Finance
Anat Arbel, who holds an M.B.A. and a B.A. in economics and international relations from the Hebrew University, joined the Milken Institute Fellows Program and quickly became a star. During her two years in the program, Arbel played an instrumental role in the Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings Division of the Ministry of Finance.

When I joined the fellows program, I wanted to specialize in financial and capital market issues," Arbel said, "but I did not believe that in such a short time I would take part in so many important processes and interact with the country's most senior financial regulators and market-makers, all through one of the world's most challenging events – a global financial crisis." As a fellow, Arbel coordinated the work of the Hodak Committee, which set out to regulate the investments of institutional investors in corporate bonds. Her first-year research, "Israel's Corporate Bonds Market: Past, Present and Future," made several recommendations to improve the process of issuing corporate bonds in Israel.

What is so special about the fellows program? "The Milken Institute Fellows Program selects young professionals with skyrocketing motivation and exceptional potential, places them in decision-making hubs and leads them through an intensive training process," Arbel said. "The fellows program provides guidance, support and training that help integrate everyday challenges with research and theoretical knowledge. There is no other program in Israel that offers such a comprehensive and high-level opportunity."

Arbel won a second year of fellowship and a rare opportunity: She was one of three fellows selected to open a special panel at the Globes Israel Business Conference, Israel's largest such gathering, on the country's capital market performance and its outlook before an audience of about 150 senior executives, regulators and business leaders.

"There is no doubt that meeting experts from a wide range of disciplines, enjoying research support from Israel and abroad, and the close mentoring play a key part in the success of the fellows program. The program's uniqueness stems from the ability to create practical research and translate research into action and results," Arbel said.

Her second-year research focused on micro-finance and identified barriers in Israel's credit markets for individuals and small businesses. Aspiring to boost job creation and self-employment in Israel's most vulnerable populations and regions, Arbel suggested a number of recommendations to promote micro-finance in her research. She was selected a second time to present her research and lead a high-profile special panel at the Globes conference. Her presentation was later reported in the online and print editions of Globes.

After two years as a fellow, Arbel is now a full-time employee of the Ministry of Finance. "I highly recommend the Milken Institute Fellows Program for anyone interested in shaping economic policy and willing to make a strategic investment for his career and country," she said.
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