David Harel is a computer scientist who has carried out significant work in logic, software and systems engineering, computability, biological modeling and olfaction. He invented the language of Statecharts (1987), and co-invented scenario based programming (late 1990s). He also co-designed Statemate, Rhapsody, the Play-Engine and PlayGo, and has authored highly acclaimed expositions of computer science: Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing (1987), and Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do (2000).
Harel has been at the Weizmann Institute in Israel since 1980, and served as its Dean of Mathematics and Computer Science. His many awards include the ACM Outstanding Educator Award, the Israel Prize and the ACM Software System Award. He has received several honorary causa degrees, is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, AAAS and EATCS, a member of Academia Europaea and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, and the US National Academy of Sciences.
Since September 2021, he has been the President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and served as its vice president from 2015. He is also an ardent peace and human rights activist.