Alumni Spotlight: David Ross

Fox Fellow alum starts ShalvaTea
December 11, 2015

The story of how David Ross (2011-12) started ShalvaTea began while he was a Fox Fellow at Yale. He spent time in the Carmel Forest in Israel trying to understand the cause of the deadliest forest fire in its history in 2010.

This event spurred his return to Yale in 2012 on a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to research market-based solutions aimed at promoting better forest management as a strategy to prevent forest fires in Israel. During his studies, he got to explore Israel’s wilderness from the Golan to Eilat. It was during this journey that he fell in love with the local plants and flowers and found that many could be used to craft exceptional teas.

The name of the company was inspired by the word “Shalva.” It is an ancient Hebrew word meaning peace, calmness, and tranquility. Each of the tea blends carry the name of a unique region in Israel, inspired by the unique combinations of plants that are found growing wild across these landscapes.

Committed to sustainability, the company is currently undergoing the organic certification process, and hopes to carry the certified organic logo by the end of 2015.

David’s story of entrepreneurial ambition is a perfect example of the Fox Fellowship program’s focus on putting research into practice.  

For more information about ShalvaTea, visit