Michael J. Weil, recently voted one of the 50 most influential Jews in America by the Forward, is executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. An economist, born and educated in Great Britain, he spent most of his career working in strategic planning and urban renewal. Weil was instrumental in leading New Orleans’s Jewish Community’s strategic planning process of rebuilding and renewal and spearheaded its flagship program to recruit young Jews to New Orleans, bringing over 2,300 newcomers to the community.
Weil spent four years in Jerusalem as a research fellow at the global Jewish think tank -- the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, chaired by US former Under Secretary of State Dennis Ross. He worked for World ORT based in London as head of Leadership and Development.
Previously he was the managing director of Megama Management & Planning Consultants in Israel. His commissions included needs assessment and cost-benefit analyses, city-wide strategic plans for Jerusalem, and other Israeli cities; urban renewal projects, community planning, and budgeting, research, and analysis for universities, Israeli Government Ministries, The Jewish Agency for Israel and other public and private entities.
He initiated, planned and organized the Millennium celebration in Jerusalem in 2000 for the Mayor of Jerusalem. He led a team of professionals who planned and built the communal organizational and municipal infrastructure of the new city of Modiin – now a success story with 90,000 citizens. As one of the key players in Israel’s Project Renewal, Weil was chief budget and financial officer for the Israeli Government and The Jewish Agency.