Born in Belgium, Prof. Daniel Zajfman moved to Israel in 1979. He received a BSc (1983) and a PhD (1989) in atomic physics from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In 1991 he joined the Weizmann Institute's Department of Particle Physics (now the Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics), after concluding his postdoctoral research at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. Since 2001, he has also been an external member of the Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, and from 2005 - 2006, he served as Director of that institute. In 2006, he was elected the tenth—and youngest-ever—President of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
As President, Prof. Zajfman has given priority to sustaining the Institute's high standards of excellence. He has led the establishment of several research schools, centers, and institutes. Under his direction, major funds have been invested in developing the Weizmann Institute's infrastructure. These efforts include the construction of a new conference center, a technical services facility, a building to house biochemical research, a cutting-edge preclinical facility, a state-of-the-art national center for personalized medicine, an integrated center for cancer research, and a new center for intelligent and advanced materials.
Under Prof. Zajfman’s leadership, the Weizmann Institute has increasingly become a hub of international science, with more international conferences and a growing number of foreign scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and students on campus. He is also a leader in advancing science education at the school level and science literacy among the public. To this end, he serves as Chair of the Davidson Institute of Science Education. He is also the guiding force behind the establishment of the Schwartz/Reisman Science Education Centers, which he also chairs.
Prof. Zajfman is married to Joëlle, who has an MSc in physics and works as a sculptor, and is father to Eyal and Noga.