Naomi began her academic studies in sociology during her military service, at the Tel Aviv branch of the Hebrew University. She completed her B.A. in Sociology and History of the Middle East at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She moved to Haifa and became the first student to be accepted into graduate studies at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology on the basis of an undergraduate degree in the social sciences. She received her Master’s Degree and PhD in Management and Behavioral Sciences from the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion; Professor Bilha Manheim was her advisor for both the MSc thesis and PhD dissertation.
During her PhD studies, Naomi received an academic scholarship to study in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There she had the opportunity to learn from a few of the founders of the socio-economic trach in urban planning, including Professors Herbert J. Gans, Donald Schon, Lloyd Rodwin, Kevin A. Lynch and Bernard J. Frieden. Her studies at MIT, together with her internship at Abt Associates – a company that has adopted the mission, from inception until today, “to improve the quality of life and economic wellbeing of people worldwide” – guided Naomi in her scientific and professional activities in the following years.
After three years as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University, where she was co-founder of the Applied Sociology Studies program, Naomi was appointed a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion. There she gradually advanced to the position of Full Professor and was designated the Joseph Meyerhoff Chair in Urban and Regional Planning. At the same time, she was for several years an adjunct lecturer of Sociology at the University of Haifa, and a senior researcher in the Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Research in Science and Technology. At the Technion, she served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, was the Head of the Graduate Program for Urban and Regional Planning, and the Head of the Center of Urban and Regional Studies. Naomi held positions in university-wide committees, alongside her various academic-professional positions outside the university, some of which are detailed in the section on community service.
During her years at the Technion, Naomi Carmon taught thousands of undergraduate architecture and landscape architecture students. She introduced her students to studies of the Israeli society with its various groups, and to socio-urban issues relevant for their profession; these include public/residents’ participation in urban decision-making, and impacts of planning and architecture on the distribution of resources among different cultural and socio-economic populations (the issue of who pays and who benefits from outcomes of urban planning). Together with her colleagues in the Graduate Program for Urban and Regional Planning, she trained most of the graduates of Urban and Regional Planning in Israel. Much of her time and abilities was dedicated to mentoring students in their research during their Masters and PhD work. More than 60 students wrote their theses under her supervision, and others were supervised during their post-doctoral studies. A number of her former students are now university faculty, including Professor Oren Yiftachel (Ben Gurion University), Professor Yosef Jabarin (Technion), Dr. Emily Silverman (Hebrew University in Jerusalem), Dr. Nathan Marom (IDC in Hertzelia), Professor Graham Tipple (New Castle, Great Britain), and Professor Hyun Ok Park (a former Korean student, now teaching at York University in Canada). Other former students hold senior positions in Israel in public and private institutions or in NGOs.
During her sabbaticals, Naomi was appointed Visiting Professor at the American universities MIT and UCLA, the University of British Columbia in Canada, and the University of Aukland in New Zealand. She has participated in hundreds of national and international conferences, given keynotes in a number of them, and has been invited to lecture in many universities on five continents, including the Universities of Beijing, Manila, Wellington, Moscow, Delft, Vienna, Gothenburg, Lodz, Bristol, Glasgow, London and universities in the United States, including Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley, Washington, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Upon her formal retirement, Naomi was granted the rank of Professor Emerita, which allows and supports her continued academic work. She continues to undertake research and academic writing, including new funded research, she supervises Masters and PhD students, mostly from the Technion but also from Tel Aviv University, and participates in Technion and national committees. In addition, for the last ten years, Naomi has served as the Technion Commissioner for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and ombudsman for addressing complaints; in this role she introduced several innovations, including the promotion of respectful organizational culture as a main goal and activity of the Commissioner.
In appreciation of her teaching and research activities and in honor of her significant influence on planning in Israel, the Israel Planners Association awarded Naomi Carmon the 2016 Distinguished Planner Award (See the Homepage for the Judges’ citation).More in Biography: