​Program Leadership




  Prof. Yair Tauman is a leading professor of economics at Stony Brook University and dean of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at Reichman University, where he also serves as academic director of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program (since 2009). Professor Tauman has been the director of the Stony Brook University Game Theory Center for the last 20 years. He served as the dean of the Arison School of Business at Reichman University ( 2010-2011), professor at the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University from 1980-1987), the Economics Department at Ohio State University (1987-1990) and Tel Aviv University for 25 years (1983-2008). Recently, he was elected president of the Israeli chapter of the Game Theory Society. 


Liat Aaronson is the chairperson of the program. Today, she is also a co-founder and COO at Horizen Labs, a blockchain technology company. Before that, she was the COO of Selina, a high growth start-up in the hospitality space. Before that, she was a Partner at Marker LLC, a leading Israel-New York based venture capital firm, where she continues to oversee their follow-on annex fund. She holds a B.A. in economics (cum laude) from the University of California at Berkeley, an LL.B. and an MBA from Tel Aviv University, and an LL.M. from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands (cum laude). She attained practical experience in M&A at Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co. Liat is a board member at Wristcam and at the Infinity Investment Group. She is a member of the Friends of IDC’s advisory board and on the advisory boards of: WiSe, Weizman Institute’s entrepreneurship program and Scola, the 81 Unit entrepreneurship program.


  Ori Schnitzer is the Executive Director of the program, and a Zell program graduate himself. For over 15 years, he has been working with and for startups, as a founder, executive and advisor, covering a broad range of sectors and geographies. Until 2020 he was based in East Asia, where he launched operations for Israeli and American companies, mainly in the fields of energy management and environmental services. Since returning to Israel he has been helping emerging and growth-stage companies to assess, plan for and execute international expansion strategies, as a consultant. Ori holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Reichman University (Cum Laude), and an MBA from CEIBS - China Europe International Business School (Cum Laude).


  Liraz Sharabani is the program's personal development director, a Zell 7 graduate herself, and active at the Zell alumni board in the last ten years. Liraz is a seasoned professional with varied experience in the Israeli innovation ecosystem across multiple sectors. Before that, she was the Head of Academy at Shookit. In 2014 she founded Boost, a venture creation development and consulting firm. Liraz's expertise lies in developing entrepreneurial programs and translating customer's needs into a strategic vision and operating structure. During five years with Boost, she developed and managed over 30 venture creation programs in Israel and abroad, collaborating with the Zell network and the Israeli startups' ecosystem. Liraz holds an EMBA from The Hebrew University with practical experience in "Startup Investing" and a B.A. from Reichman University.









Dana Barda is the Head of Dean's Office and Operations Manager at the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship, and the Executive Assistant to the Zell Entrepreneurship Program. She has been part of the Zell staff since 2012 and supports the students, faculty, alumni and mentors community. She holds a BA degree from Bar-Ilan University, majoring in honors in Social Studies.















Uri Gafni leads the Zell venture creation program. He is an entrepreneur, supporting and investing in early stage startups. He acts as a Director to the Mamram Alumni Association startup programs, and an adviser to Google for Startups and the European Institute of Technology (EIT). Previously as co-founder & CEO at Quedma Innovation, he led innovation and acceleration programs with prominent Israeli organizations, supporting hundreds of startups. He also delivers workshops in accelerators, elite IDF tech units, and leading academic institutions (including the BGU, Technion, Hebrew University and others). Uri also founded the Excel Ventures Program within Birthright Israel Excel, the Momentum Accelerator within the Reichman University and led entrepreneurship programs at Tel Aviv University's Entrepreneurship Center. He holds a B.A in Law from Reichman University (Magna Cum Laude) and is a graduate of the Zvi Meitar Emerging Technologies Program.







Tali Pais is the Program Operations Coordinator. Tali is an event producer with more than 10 years of experience in the national and international events industry, focusing on Hi-Tech and innovation. Her company, "Tali Pais Events" specializes in creating bespoke experience events. Tali holds BA in business and finance from Reichman University.