C.V Prof. Harel-Fish Yossi
Prof. Yossi Harel-Fisch
Director, International Research Program
on Adolescent Well-Being and Health, Bar Ilan University
Founding Director, Well-Being International (WBI) – Addiction
Global Advisory Group
Professor Yossi Harel-Fisch is the Founding-Director of the International Research Center on Adolescent Well-Being and Health at the School of Education at Bar Ilan University, and served for the past decade as Chief Scientist of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA). Back in the late 90’s, Harel-Fisch founded the Well-Being International (WBI) Institute - an institute working with governments, communities and schools, to reduce addiction and other risk behaviors and achieve mental health and well-being among children, youth and young adults.
Harel-Fisch is an internationally renowned expert on risk behavior prevention and health promotion research, who has been consulting to international organizations such as WHO, UNESCO, UNICHEF, UNODC and the EMCDDA, and to governments such as Israel, USA, Canada, Norway, Scotland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Brazil, China, Kenya, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. He served as Senior Visiting Scientist and Visiting Professor at the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, where he led the development of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS), at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and at the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in Washington DC. He holds an on-going appointment as Visiting Professor at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in Beijing China, and at the University of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (UCASS) in Beijing.
Over the past three and a half decades, Harel-Fisch has been involved in initiating and implementing national, cross-national and regional scientific survey systems, evidence-based policies and national intervention strategies, focusing on the psychosocial and cultural determinants of well-being and health and of health related risk and protective patterns of behavior, including substance abuse, internet addiction, bullying and cyberbullying, nutrition, physical activity and more. A major focus of his work over the past decade and a half is on the development, implementation and evaluation of new effective strategies for addiction prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. His cross-cultural research focuses on psychosocial and cultural determinants that enhance mental well-being and resiliency such as the roles of significant adults, family culture and support, school policy and school daily experience, community involvement, peer social connectedness and patterns of use of Electronic Media Communication (EMC).
Prof. Harel-Fisch is a member of the scientific steering committee of the Council of Europe (COE) developing markers to evaluate the effectiveness and coherency of national drug policies related to health, well-being and substance use prevention and recovery. He is a member of the Pompidou Group’s MedSPAD committee orchestrating the study of addictive and other risk behaviors among adolescents living in African and European countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and a member of the General Population Surveys (GPS) Expert Committee of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon.
Since 1988, Prof. Harel-Fisch has been a member of the international coordinating committee of the World Health Organization’s Health Behavior in School-Age Children (WHO-HBSC) Cross-National Survey in 50 countries. He serves also as the Israeli HBSC Principal Investigator, the Co-P.I. of the Chinese Youth Health Behavior Survey (C-YHBS) and the P.I. of the Middle East HBSC regional study.
Based on empirical evidence accumulated in the scientific literature and in the finding of the HBSC study across many countries, Prof. Harel-Fisch developed the "Youth Resiliency" conceptual model, that has been translated to an intervention strategy to reduce addiction, bullying, and other health-related risk behaviors of young people by focusing on the enhancement of the main determinants of well-being – namely, strengthening positive-protective factors that contribute to youth resiliency and thus elevate levels of mental, social and functional well-being. “Youth Resiliency” has been successfully implemented in dozens of schools, youth villages and local authorities.
In recent years, Prof. Harel-Fisch has been engaged in developing and improving the art of translating scientific complex research findings to decision makes to impact evidence-based policies and intervention strategies. He has been using this approach successfully in his frequent appearances in the Israeli Parliament (The Knesset), in meetings of the Cabinet and with major international organizations focusing on health promotion and addiction policies such as WHO, UNODC, NIDA and UNGASS.
Prof. Harel-Fisch has a doctoral degree in sociology, social psychology and survey methods from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and postdoctoral training in public health and epidemiology as an EIS Officer (Class of 1987) at the US National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Over the years, he nurtured scores of graduate and post-graduate student and young researchers in the field of adolescent health and addiction. Some went on to assume high-level academic research appointment and others went on to key professional or governmental leadership positions.
He is a popular and highly in-demand speaker at international scientific and professional forums focusing on new approaches to the well-being and health of children, youth and young adults. His scientific work has been published in books and articles in leading scientific outfits and his work is cited extensively in the scientific literature (8,670 scientific citation according to Google Citations 2020).