WASHINGTON, D.C. August 23, 2011—Ester Levanon, born in Petah Tikva, Israel, was barely 2 years old when her father was killed in the 1948 Independence War. It was her grandfather who offered to finance her university studies.
At age 20, Levanon got her master’s degree in mathematics, then went on to complete an advanced management program at Harvard Business School and crowned her studies with a PhD from Technion -Israel Institute of Technology.
After graduating from Technion, she spent time at the environmental science department at Tel Aviv University where she discovered the world of computers. Her math masters helped her when she joined a software ‘house’ in 1970.
Levanon’s first significant job was a consulting assignment with the Shin Bet in 1973, the Israel Security Agency which responds directly to the Prime Minister. Levanon spent 12 years in the computer division of the Shin Bet.
She joined the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in 1986 as Chief Information Officer. Initially, she was vice-president for IT and operations and implemented universal automation. In Levanon’s opinion, “For a stock exchange, IT is the most important.”
Five years ago, after a decade as Deputy-CEO, Levanon became CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
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