Passing on the UK baton

Date: Monday, March 25, 2019
Martin Paisner and Dr. Arabella Duffield

Martin Paisner and Dr. Arabella Duffield

The closing of 2018 signalled the end of an important era for Weizmann UK and also heralded the beginning of an exciting new one. After eight years in the role of Chair of Weizmann UK, Martin Paisner CBE has handed over the baton to Dr. Arabella Duffield. 

A special tribute was paid to Mr. Paisner during Weizmann UK’s Making Connections gala dinner in September, which honored his extraordinary commitment to the Weizmann Institute for over 40 years. 

Mr. Paisner’s involvement with the Institute began as a teenager when he spent time on campus, visiting the homes of Isaac and Edith Wolfson and Barnett Shine. He was deeply connected to the Institute’s founding families including the Sieffs, the Clore-Duffields, the Rothschilds, and the Wolfsons. 

He was appointed a trustee of Weizmann UK in 1979, taking over for his father, Leslie Paisner. He was elected to the Institute’s International Board of Governors in 1996 and to the Executive Board in 1999. In 2010 he became Chairman of Weizmann UK. In 2011 Mr. Paisner was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Institute.

As a trustee of significant grant-making funds such as the Bluston Charitable Settlement, the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation, and the Dorset Foundation, Mr. Paisner has secured considerable funding to support pioneering scientific research at the Institute. These gifts are recognized across campus.

Family legacy

While Mr. Paisner will remain involved as Vice President and Trustee of Weizmann UK, and will continue to be a member of the Institute’s Executive Board, Dr. Arabella Duffield has stepped into the role of Chair of Weizmann UK. 

Dr. Duffield is no stranger to the Weizmann Institute. As the granddaughter of the late Sir Charles Clore and daughter of Dame Vivien Duffield, she has been coming to the Weizmann Institute since she was a child, including a memorable meeting at the age of four with Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1976, at the opening of the refurbished Weizmann House. She also attended the Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute in 1989.

Dr. Duffield has been on the International Board since 2009 and on Weizmann UK’s board since 2015. She has a PhD in public health and worked extensively in Africa and Asia for the UN and non-governmental organizations, including Save the Children. The commitment of the Clore-Duffield family to the Weizmann Institute is evident in every aspect of campus life,  from the Clore Garden of Science to the annual award ceremony of the Sir Charles Clore Prize.