Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan and Vice President of International Business Development Katy Sinnott arrived in Israel Sunday for a weeklong trade mission to Israel aimed at increasing exports, encouraging continued foreign investment in Wisconsin and developing partnerships in the water technology sector.

Governor Walker will lead a 15-member delegation to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that includes First Lady Tonette Walker; Hogan; Sinnott; Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council, Brett Peters, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; and executives from five Wisconsin companies.

Governor Walker and WEDC leaders also will engage with executives of companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the U.S. and will meet with key Israeli government leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his cabinet, and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman.

“The opportunities for valuable partnerships between Wisconsin and Israel are endless,” said Aviv Ezra, Israel’s Consul General to the Midwest, who will join the governor at several meetings with government officials. “We look forward to sharing our expertise as a global leader in water research and as a pioneer in agricultural technology with the great state of Wisconsin. This trip will enhance the relationship between the state of Wisconsin and Israel to cultivate an innovative win-win environment.”

At the same time, the five executives of Wisconsin companies that are part of the delegation will take part in personalized, one-on-one meetings with potential business partners coordinated by WEDC’s authorized trade representative network.

Highlights of the trade mission, which runs through Thursday, include:

  • Governor Walker will have a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday in Jerusalem. The governor also is scheduled to meet with other top Israeli officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Michael Oren; Yuval Steinitz, minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, Water; and Avi Dichter, chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
  • WEDC will host an “Opportunity in Wisconsin” networking event with a dozen executives of Israeli companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the U.S. The companies will learn about opportunities to expand their businesses in Wisconsin and the benefits of investing in the state.
  • Governor Walker will take part in a “Reverse Pitch for Innovation” networking event led by The Water Council, UWM and the MMSD that will showcase how Wisconsin’s water technology resources could be of benefit to Israeli companies.
  • WEDC and Amhaus of The Water Council will meet with leaders of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, one of Israel’s leading research universities, to discuss ways the two institutions can work together.
  • Governor Walker will meet with leaders of Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem, to discuss potential collaboration and partnerships with Wisconsin entities.

The trade mission to Israel comes just six weeks after Governor Walker completed a successful mission to South Korea and Japan in which he met with more than 200 business leaders and oversaw the signing of two agreements that will help Wisconsin companies reach new markets in South Korea.