A Breakthrough High Tech Entrepreneur

The Fellowship  |  December 20, 2019

Orna Berry with Ambassador Shapiro
Orna Berry with Ambassador Shapiro

Born in Jerusalem to parents who served Israel in her early days — her father was one of the Israeli Air Force (IAF)’s first combat pilots, while her mother was a Palmach nurse — Orna Berry served in the IAF herself before earning BA and MA degrees in statistics and math in Israel and a PhD in Computer Science from USC in the U.S.

To start her career, Berry worked for Burroughs, Unisys, and IBM, specializing in Local Area Network (LAN). She then helped found Ornet Data Communication Technologies, which became the first Israeli startup bought by a European company, Siemens.

After selling Ornet, Berry became a public servant, working for the Israeli government as the Chief Scientist and Director of the Industrial Research and Development Administration, the first and only woman to serve in this position.

Berry is one of Israel’s top business figures, having helped build the Jewish state’s startup nation status. For all she has done for Israel and the Israeli people, she has been given many awards “for being a breakthrough high tech entrepreneur who excelled at integrating young industry with technology.” But all of her success and how she has shared it with others comes from her parents, who she calls “my inspiration, who bestowed me with the values of caring and public giving.”

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