Alon Tal is Chair of the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He is a leading Israeli environmental activist and academic; founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; and a co-founder of Ecopeace: Friends of the Earth, Middle East; This is My Earth; the Israel Forum for Demography, Environment and Society; Aytzim: Ecological Judaism; and the Green Movement political party.
Tal taught at the Tel Aviv University Law School from 1990 until 2004. In 2005 he joined the faculty of the Desert Research Institutes at Ben Gurion University. His research has focused on water policy, monitoring transboundary stream water quality, assessing the Israeli government's environmental enforcement program, evaluating national environmental education programs, forestry policy, surveying Israel's environmental movement and assessing a range of environmental history and policy issues. He has been a visiting professor or affiliated with numerous universities including the Harvard School of Public Health, University of Otago Law School, Stanford University Center for Conservation Biology, Michigan State University, and Renmin University of China.
In 2006, in conjunction with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, he initiated a bi-annual international Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification at Ben Gurion University, which brings together some 500 participants from over 60 countries to discuss a range of research findings and issues associated with sustainable land management in drylands. He chaired five consecutive conferences, most recently in 2014.