Alon Tal

Visiting Professor of Business and Sustainability

Research Statement

For thirty years I have focused on a broad range of issues involving public policy and sustainability, primarily considering the effect of rapidly growing populations on natural resources and the environment.

Research Interests

  • Climate Tech Innovation
  • Water Management
  • Demography
  • Climate Change
  • Forestry
  • Desertification
  • Renewable Energy
  • Transboundary Environmental Cooperation

Teaching Statement

My courses are based on an assumption that we need to do a better job of protecting natural resources and the environment while attaining a semblance of harmony with the natural world. Beyond basic literacy on the topics covered in a course, I believe that my classes should offer students the tools to critically evaluate different perspectives on key controversies and debates, assess who/ what is making a difference, and consider how they can make a contribution. In practical terms that means a balance between provocative lectures and informed, spirited classroom discussions.


Professor Alon Tal’s career has been a balance between academia and public interest advocacy. Between 2021–2022 he was a member of Knesset, Israel’s parliament, where he served as chair of the subcommittee for environmental and climate impact on health. Presently he has an appointment as professor in the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University. Tal has held faculty posts at Stanford, Ben Gurion, Hebrew, Michigan State, Otago and Harvard Universities. He has also founded several Israeli environmental organizations including Adam Teva V’Din, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, and the Arava Institute. He has served as deputy chair of Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael, where for many years he oversaw national forestry policy in Israel and is currently co-chair of Zafuf, the Israel Forum for Population, Environment and Society. He plays fiddle and mandolin in the Arava Riders, a leading Israeli bluegrass band.

Academic Degrees

  • ScD in Environmental Health Policy, Harvard University School of Public Health, 1989
  • LIB in Law, Hebrew University, 1985
  • BA in Political Science and Economics, University of North Carolina, 1980

Academic Appointments

  • Professor and Chairperson; Tel Aviv University, Department of Public Policy; 2016–present
  • Visiting Professor; Otago University School of Law; 1999, 2009, 2011, 2016
  • Visiting Professor, Stanford University, 2011–12, 2013–14
  • Associate Professor, Ben Gurion University, 2004–06
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard University, School Of Public Health, 1989–97
  • Adjunct Lecturer; Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Law, 1990–2003

Awards and Honors

  • Selected as number 1 bi-partisan Israeli legislator, based on range of cooperative initiatives, 2022
  • Selected as one of top 5 “Most Diligent Israeli Legislators”, the Shakuf Initiative, 2021
  • Selected as 1 of 5 environmental heroes in Israel, ICE News, 2020
  • Arava Award for Contribution to Regional Cooperation and the Environment, 2019
  • Im Tirtzu Prize by Young Judaea for Outstanding International Leadership, 2017
  • Haiken Prize, Best Original Israeli Book on Geostrategic Topics (The Land is Full), 2016
  • Kennedy Leigh Fellowship (declined), Oxford University, 2011
  • Best article in the field of international water management, International Journal of River Basin Management Competition, 2011
  • Life Achievement Award for Contribution to Environmental Protection in honor of Israel’s Sixtieth Independence Anniversary, Israel Ministry of Environment, 2008
  • Haim Shiva Award for Outstanding Academic Research, Ben Gurion Fund, 2006
  • Charles Bronfman Humanitarian Award for Young Leadership, 2006
  • Jewish National Fund (KKL) Lewis Award for Forestry Research, 1999
  • Henry Ford European Conservation Award, 1997
  • Willensky Award for Outstanding Research among Graduate Students in Health Policy, Harvard University, 1989
  • Four Time Fellowship Recipient, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Network for Environmental Management, 1987–89


Journal Articles

Meital Peleg Mizrachi , Alon Tal
January 2022 Vol. 14 Issue 1 Pages 502
Erez Peri, Nir Becker, Alon Tal
Land Use Policy
December 2020 Vol. 99
Alon Tal, Dorit Kerret
April 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 4
Olga Miarov, Alon Tal, Dror Avisar
Journal of Environmental Management
January 2020 Vol. 254
Arnon Karnieli, Alexandra Shtein, Natalya Panov, Noam Weisbrod , Alon Tal
July 2019 Vol. 11 Issue 8 Pages 1564
Alon Tal
February 2018 Vol. 10 Issue 2 Pages 197

Stanford University Affiliations

Service to the Profession

  • Co-Chair, Zafuf, the Forum for Population, Environment & Society