Ophir Samson

Autonomous Vehicles Expert
Ophir's passion for safe, environmentally-friendly technology led him to the field of autonomous vehicles, where he's worked since 2016. A math PhD, business development expert, and amateur magician, Ophir brings a unique perspective to a whole range of issues and is always a delight.


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Ophir Samson is head of Automotive Partnerships and Business Development for Aurora, a leading self-driving vehicle company, and previously managed business development for Uber's self-driving car program and Uber's Advanced Technologies Group. He believes safe, accessible, and environmentally-friendly transportation should be a fundamental human right, and is passionate about using autonomous vehicles to realize that.

Previously, Ophir was commissioned by Sir Ronald Cohen (ex-Chairman, Apax Capital Partners) to establish Social Finance Israel, the county’s first impact investment fund that combines monetary returns to investors with measurable social impact. In 2013, Ophir became Israel’s first representative to the G8 Task Force for Social Investment. Ophir was also an associate at Telegraph Hill Capital, an analyst at Brevan Howard Hedge Fund, and a product manager at Groupon during its start-up phase.

Ophir holds a PhD, Msc, and Bsc in Applied Mathematics from MIT and Imperial College London, and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business. In his spare time, Ophir is a professional magician and chef-in-training.


"Ophir was very funny, and his talk was the perfect level for everyone to learn and engage in the topic. I didn't know anything about self-driving cars going into it, and now I feel like I could now have a reasonable conversation on the topic with most people (and have new questions to investigate too!)."

Speakeasy participant

"This was one of the best events I attended. The information was explained well and at a level I could follow the entire time. I thought his presentation was very clear, with a variety of mediums, and packed with good info. He was a really engaging and poised speaker."

Speakeasy participant