Yohanan Plesner

Yohanan Plesner



Israel Democracy Institute

Yohanan (Johan) Plesner has been President of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) since 2014. 

With more than 80 publications and 70 conferences per year, IDI is the country's largest impact-oriented policy planning institution.

From 2007 to 2013, he served as a Member of Knesset (Israel's parliament). He was a member of the Constitution, Law and Justice, and Defense and Foreign Affairs Committees. Co-Chair of the Knesset lobby for Higher Education and and Chairman of the Knesset's permanent delegation to the Council of Europe.


After serving in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office as Head of Special Projects, he, later, became the first Secretary-General of Israel's new ruling party, Kadima, and spearheaded the creation of the party's organizational infrastructure.


His business experience includes time at a management consulting firm in London, as well as a role of co-founder and CEO at an international enterprise software company based in Israel, Canada, and the US.

Plesner holds an MPA in Political Economy and International Security from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Economics from the Amirim Program for Excellence at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He grew up in Jerusalem and served as a combatant and officer in the IDF's elite "Sayeret Matkal" unit, in which he still serves as a Major in active reserve duty.