Israel Cidon joins Cornell Tech as director of Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute

As the new director, he will lead the Jacobs Institute’s strategic vision as it continues to grow.

Cornell Tech buildings on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Cornell Tech buildings on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Professor Israel Cidon. Credit: Technion‒Israel Institute of Technology.

Cornell Tech has announced that Israel Cidon will become director of the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute. He succeeds Ron Brachman, whose appointment began in 2016.

Cidon is an entrepreneur, leader in network engineering, and former faculty member and dean at the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Technion‒Israel Institute of Technology.

The Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech fosters radical experimentation at the intersection of research, education and entrepreneurship. It offers dual-degree programs in health tech, connective media and urban technology. Since its founding, it has incubated 42 new startup companies that have filed almost 50 patent applications and secured more than $200 million in private funding. More than 80% of these companies are still operating and have staff totaling more than 200 employees in New York City.

As the new director, Cidon will lead the Jacobs Institute’s strategic vision as it continues to grow its interdisciplinary, translational research focused on challenges in the digital realm; its innovative dual-degree programs; and its commitment to inclusive entrepreneurship. 

Cidon comes to the Institute from VMware Research, where for six-plus years he served as vice president and researcher working on high-performance, worldwide networks that bridged IoT, data centers, public clouds and more, enabling and optimizing geo-distributed modern applications.

Before that, he worked as a faculty member at the Technion, publishing more than 180 peer-reviewed papers and serving as dean of electrical and computer engineering from 2006 to 2010. Cidon has co-founded a number of technology companies, including Micronet Ltd., an early mobile data-entry pioneer; Actona Technology, which introduced the basic technology for WAN optimization; Viola Networks, a network quality of service testing and diagnosis; and Sookasa, an organizational SaaS security platform. 

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The Technion–Israel Institute has long leveraged boundary-crossing collaborations to advance breakthrough research and technologies that impacted the world. Now, with a presence in three countries, the Technion prepares the next generation of global innovators. Technion people, ideas and inventions made immeasurable contributions to the world, innovating in fields from cancer research and sustainable energy to communication theory, quantum technologies, nanotechnology and computer science.
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