David Werner Senator was born on 6.9.1896 in Berlin, Germany and died on 2.11.1953 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. His father was Severin Senator and his mother was Elisheva to the Gotteshelk family. David Senator became interested in the problems of Eretz Israel while he was still a student in Germany and wrote his doctoral thesis on Jewish settlement in that country. He studied at the universities of Munich, Berlin and Freiburg in 1919. He was interested in Jewish culture and art and devoted himself to cultural activities among Jewish youth from Eastern Europe and he joined the circle of the Volksheim. He worked for Jewish welfare organizations in Germany, worked for the European branch of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, rising to the position of General Secretary of its European headquarters.
He was also a leading member of the Brit Shalom and Ihud movements and was a supporter of Judah Magnes' political work advocating a binational state for Jews and Arabs in Palestine.
Senator settled in Palestine in 1924 but was sent on a mission abroad and returned in 1930. He was elected as a member of the Jewish Agency executive board at the plenary session of the Jewish Agency Council in Basle in 1931, and served there until 1935 as Treasurer of the Jewish Agency and later head of the Immigration Department and the Department of Settlement of German Jews. He resigned in 1935, as a result of his opposition to the Agency's "activist" policy. He then returned to Palestine and became administrator of the Hebrew University and ran the university during crucial periods in the Second World War and the War of Independence. In 1949, he became the Executive Vice-President of the Hebrew University.