Colonel (Res.) Dr. Yechiel Soffer was born in Israel in 1966. Dr. Soffer is an internationally renowned expert in Disaster Management, preparation for National Emergencies and Population Resilience and Recovery. He was the Head of the Civil Defense Department of the Home Front Command in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).Soffer has written the official National Plan for the response to an earthquake inIsraeland, since 2008 has been lecturing at Ben-Gurion University of the Negevon the subject of “Population Behavior in Emergency Situations.”
Soffer established the Population Training System and the deployment of information to the public (guidance & instructions), by the Home Front Command, for a range of emergency situations. In 1984 he was conscripted into the IDF as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade of the Infantry Division. During his Military Service he filled a series of command positions, rising from platoon leader to Infantry Brigade Commander with the rank of Colonel. He participated in dozens of operational activities inLebanon, theWest Bankand the Gaza Strip. In 1991, after finishing his active Military Duty with the role of Assistant Company Commander, Soffer attended a Special Forces qualification course in Fort Bragg NC-US Army.
In 2003 he was appointed Commander – Dan District Home Front Command and was responsible for the Civil Defense of major cities inIsrael. In 2006 was appointed as the Head of the Civil Defense Department in the Home Front Command Headquarters.Soffer was responsible for the process of drawing conclusions in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War (2006). As a result of the lessons learned he built a Population Training and Information System that includes:
Spokesmen on TV Channels
A live broadcasting studio in the Home Front Command
An internet site
A national call center
An alarm system for the civilian population
He activated this information system for the first time during the IDF Operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza. Soffer was a member of the Israeli delegation for humanitarian aid to Haiti (January 2010) following the earthquake.
His Doctorate thesis was: “A National Multi-Organization Model for the Preparedness and Immediate Response Stages to an Earthquake”. In this role, Soffer lectures at conferences inIsraeland abroad. He has also written numerous articles on population behavior and resilience in an emergency, which have been published in both local and international journals.