JAMES MCCULLAR, President
ALIYE P. CELIK, Vice-President
LANCE JAY BROWN
FENIOSKY PEÑA MORA
LUDIVINE CORNILLE, Ex-Officio
INNA BRANZBURG, Tel Aviv
SARAH WATLING, Washington, DC
THERESA WILLIAMSON, Rio
FEYZAN ERKIP, Munich
ROXANA ZYMAN, Rotterdam
LEYLAC NAQVI, Singapore
ANAMARIA VRABIE, Bucharest
MAUREEN ABI GHANEM
James McCullar, FAIA, is the founding principal of James McCullar Architecture. Since its formation, the studio has engaged in the design of new housing and adaptive reuse of urban sites that have contributed to the revitalization of their communities. As 2008 President of AIA New York, he organized the response to Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC2030 in collaboration with UN GAID for the first UN Forum on Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age, which led to formation of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization. From 2003 to 2006 in response to the Mayor’s housing initiatives, he led a forum that showcased housing design at the Center for Architecture. His work has been recognized through election to the AIA College of Fellows for significant contributions to urban housing and community design, the Andrew J. Thomas Pioneer in Housing Award, and a national AIA Honor Award for Urban Design. He has taught at Kansas State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Fontainebleau, France. He received a BA and BArch from Rice University, a Fulbright Fellowship for Urban Design in Paris, and a MArch from Columbia University where his thesis was on the New York region.
Aliye Pekin Celik, PhD, is Immediate President of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU). Prior to founding the CSU, Ms. Celik was instrumental in establishing innovative participatory mechanisms to build alliances addressing some of the world’s most pressing concerns in developing countries as the Chief of Economic, Social and Inter-organizational Cooperation Branch, UNDESA. She started the book series on the High Level Segment of Economic and Social Council, and worked on the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Countries Emerging from Conflicts. As the Head of New York office of UN-HABITAT, she directed preparations for the HABITAT II Conference in Istanbul, Turkey in 1996. She served UN-HABITAT Nairobi and New York, working on building technologies, sustainable urbanization, energy, and gender issues. As a principal researcher in the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, Building Research Institute, and the Ministry of Construction and Resettlement and adviser to the State Planning Department, she worked on energy conservation and affordable housing. She has degrees in architecture from Middle East Technical University, Princeton University, and a PhD from Istanbul Technical University. Celik was a Fulbright Scholar and received numerous awards from OECD (1972), Princeton University (1979), AIANY (2009, 1997, 1970), and Soroptimist International NYC (2005), where she served as President from 2008 to 2010.
Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA, architect, urban designer, educator, author. His 2014 American Institute of Architects NY Chapter Presidential theme: Civic Vision, Civic Spirit expressed his lifelong commitment to civic health and the importance of the public realm. He is ACSA Distinguished Professor , Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY, CUNY, served as assistant director at the Design Arts Program at the NEA, as advisor to the World Trade Center Site 9/11 International Memorial Design Competition and Boston's 9/11 memorial Competition. Awards include: AIA New York State President’s Award for Excellence in Non‐traditional Architecture and the most prestigious AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. He is Founding Co‐Chair of the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee. As a Founding Board member of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, he helped plan and participated in Habitat III in Quito. He holds an M.Arch and M.Arch in Urban Design from Harvard and was a Fulbright Fellow in Paris. Publications include: Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space, The Legacy Project: New Housing New York: Best Practices in Affordable, Sustainable, Replicable Housing Design, and the co-authored Urban Design for an Urban Century: Shaping More Livable Equitable, and Resilient Cities.
Urs P. Gauchat, Hon. AIA, is Dean Emeritus of the College of Architecture and Design (1991-2016) and Professor of Architecture at New Jersey Institute of Technology. As Dean, Professor Gauchat transformed the school into an internationally recognized leader in two areas: Digital Media in Design and the Design of Communities. Prof. Gauchat is committed to linking the considerable resources of universities to the needs of communities worldwide. His prior appointments included: Professorship at Harvard Graduate School of Design (1971-1985), Visiting Professor ETH Zurich, president of the Boston Architectural Center (1972-1976) and president of Gauchat Architects (1973-1998). He has served as a consultant to private and private sectors focusing on planning and design issues. Professor Gauchat holds degrees from the University of Sydney (B.Arch.) and Harvard University (M.Arch.). He has been a Board member of numerous organizations and nonprofit entities. Prof. Gauchat sees his role primarily as an agent of change and an instigator. He believes that inspired planning and design plays a critical role in shaping communities and allocating resources; and strategies for successful sustainable urbanization must be flexible, able to change and adapt to evolving contexts. Good Design can make the difference between spending money and spending money wisely; it is a prerequisite to a better future.
Prof. Feniosky Peña-Mora is the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He took a public service leave from 2014 to 2017 to serve as the New York City Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction. Prior to his public service leave at DDC, he was the Dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering at Columbia University. Previously, he was Associate Provost and the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining the faculty at Illinois, Dr. Peña-Mora was the Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned his Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees in civil engineering in 1991 and 1994, respectively. Prof. Peña-Mora is the author or co-author of more than 215 scholarly publications. He holds six patents and one provisional patent. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Buildings (CIOB) as well as elected member of the Dominican Republic Academy of Sciences, and the United States National Academy of Construction.
Yamina Djacta is the former Director of the New York Office of the United Nations Settlements Programme. She joined UN-HABITAT in 1996. Ms. Djacta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). She has been working in the field of economic and social development for more than twenty years. She has also worked with the UN for numerous years both at headquarters and field level in the areas of policy, planning, program development, management, capacity development, monitoring and evaluation.
Fredric (Rick) Bell is Executive Director of Design and Construction Excellence at the New York City Department of Design and Construction. His responsibilities at DDC include strategic planning on key policy issues, oversight of public building and civic infrastructure projects, and development of design guiding principles, typological handbooks and standards. Rick previously served as Executive Director of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, where he helped establish and animate the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place. At AIANY from 2001 to 2015, he fostered interdisciplinary dialogue, hosting exhibitions and programs on topics ranging from active design and affordable housing to sustainable urbanization and transit-oriented development. Rick also was a design partner at Warner Burns Toan Lunde Architects, leading the educational facilities studio, working on libraries, public schools and university structures throughout the United States. He has also worked in France and Switzerland. A graduate of Yale College and Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, he was elevated to AIA Fellowship in 2000. Rick is the 2014 recipient of the AIA's Edward C. Kemper Award and has received the designation of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture.
Gernot Riether is the Director of the School of Architecture and Associate Professor at the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He serves on the Board of Directors at ACADIA, Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture. Riether previously taught at Kennesaw State University, Ball State University, ENSA Paris La Villette, Georgia Tech, NYIT and Barnard College at Columbia University and is lecturing internationally. In his research he and his students are testing new novel computer controlled fabrication and manufacturing methods. Projects from his Digital Design Build Studio won architecture competitions, were presented at international venues such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, were featured in books on digital design and fabrication and were published in prominent publications such as Architectural Record and DETAIL. Riether’s research studio has been funded by the AIA, the Austrian government, non-profit organizations such as MainX24, material fabricators, the construction industry and universities. His forthcoming book, Urban Machines, co-authored with Associate Professor Marcella Del Signore, explores the relationship between public urban spaces and information technology. Riether received a DI from the University of Innsbruck, Austria and a MS from Columbia University.
Christine Schlendorf, AIA, is a principal and member of the board of Directors at Perkins Eastman. She is the Principal in charge of the Primary and Education practice for the New York office. For more than 20 years, Christine has created beautiful and innovative educational spaces that shape the way students identify, absorb, and retain knowledge. Prioritizing the needs of students, teachers, and administrators is central to her approach. Striving to incorporate the unique core goals and mission of the client’s school, organization, or district, she works collaboratively to ensure curriculum and program drive efficient and functional spaces. Christine is committed to embracing the regional and cultural aspects that make up a school’s unique ethos, while designing relevant and inspiring learning environments. She has been responsible for numerous public and private school projects in the United States as well as overseas. Christine is adept at creating educational environments that respond to the changing needs of students. Christine’s work has been recognized by industry awards and featured in numerous publications. She has a BARCH from Syracuse University and has been named in “ENR’s Top 20 under 40,” and “40 under 40,” by Building Design & Construction.
H. Oner Yurtseven, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He served as Director, Department Chair, Associate Dean and Dean at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI before retiring in 2011. His areas of expertise are engineering and technology education, engineering accreditation, international engineering education, robotics, and renewable photovoltaic energy. He served as consultant for a number of United Nations Development Program projects; and held academic and administrative positions at The Middle East Technical University, Indiana University, and Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). For two years, he was Provost of the Indiana University- Tenaga Nasional Berhad Cooperative Program, which initiated US model engineering programs in Malaysia. He currently serves as board member for Electricore, director/board member for EarthSolar Technologies Corporation, and engineering program evaluator for Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). He received BS in Electrical Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the John Hopkins University in Baltimore where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He also worked as a member of the technical staff for the Computer Science Corporation at NASA Goddard Space Center, Maryland.
Theodore Liebman, FAIA, is a Principal at Perkins Eastman and a leading expert in the planning and design of large-scale urban housing and mixed-use projects. Over the past 50 years, Liebman focused on issues of housing, lifestyle, and culture in the urban environment. He was Chief of Architecture at the New York State Urban Development Corporation (1971-75) and Chief of Architecture for Roosevelt Island (1973-75). From 1975-77, he was architectural/urban design advisor to the Harvard Institute for International Development in Tehran, Iran. He was a founding partner of The Liebman Melting Partnership (TLMP), focusing on affordable housing and neighborhood development until 2007. Liebman served as 1984 President of the AIA NY Chapter, received the Andrew J. Thomas Pioneer in Housing Award (1988), and gave the Ratensky Lecture ( 2005), honoring individuals who made significant lifetime contributions for advancement of housing and community design. He is Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Urban Design/ Architecture Studies program; lectured extensively and served on architectural juries in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. He received a B.Arch. Pratt Institute, M.Arch. Harvard University GSD, the Rome Prize Fellowship in Architecture; and the Wheelwright Travelling Fellowship in Architecture from Harvard. Liebman attended Habitat I & II and represented CSU at Habitat III
Ludivine Cornille is a French Registered Architect (DPLG), Urban Designer and Scenographer. She had most recently been developing global initiatives for the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Previously she was the focal point for local and territorial governments at UN-Habitat New York Office. In such capacity she advocated for the SDG 11 and the localization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Previously she had been working for the Urban Finance Branch of UN-Habitat in Nairobi and for the National Institute of Housing in Mexico City. In 2001 she established her own firm in Paris and has worked throughout her career with several Architecture and Design offices on projects in more than 10 countries. She holds a Master in Architecture with a specialization in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, a postgraduate degree in Participative Construction in Latin American Cities from the National School of Architecture Paris-La Villette, and a dual certificate (BA Arts) in Theatre and Cinema Scenography, and Interior Architecture and Design. She was honored with the Besnard de Quelen architecture award from the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts of France (CNAM) for her Master thesis and project about the urban development of the Mexican Caribbean coastline.
Inna Branzburg is a Master Candidate in City and Regional Planning at Pratt institute. Her research areas and interests focused on community-based planning, economic development, urban design, and integration of refugees in urban areas. Inna participated in the Community Planning Fellowship program of the Fund for the City of New York (FCNY) and worked at Brooklyn Community Board 8 on community and economic development issues, identifying strategies to prevent businesses displacement and promote sustainable growth and neighborhood revitalization. Inna holds a Bachelor Degree in Interior, Building, and Environment Design from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel. After her graduation, she was hired as a project manager under the supervision of the CEO. In her work, she practiced interior design and managed several constructions projects. Inna is passionate about social justice and equality issues and has a background in community organizing through her experiences as the chairwoman of the Student Union at her College and as a board member of The National Union of Israeli Students.
Sarah Watling works at Perkins Eastman DC Architects in Washington, DC, on The Wharf, a large-scale project designed to achieve LEED Neighborhood Design certification. Before joining this project, Sarah practiced research, development and design both domestically and internationally for over 15 years. Her training in art history, environmental policy and planning, and landscape architecture enable a unique big-picture perspective. Passionate about sustainability, her projects have included master planning ecotourism infrastructure in Central and South America, regional sustainable economic policy modeling and implementation, research and evidence-based sustainable land reclamation in sub-Saharan Africa, therapeutic landscapes , and sustainable revitalization of fragmented urban cores. Her interest areas are the prioritization of community-based strategies in sustainable urbanization, specifically resiliency; building rural-urban linkages in response to economic, environmental and population pressures; and the power of public art as mediator between ecology, economics and society. She has presented her work to the Federal Appalachian Regional Commission and the International Federation of Landscape Architects World Congress and volunteers regularly with AIA Women in Architecture, the District Architecture Center and on various public art installations.
Theresa Williamson founded Catalytic Communities in 2000, and has served as Executive Director since. Winner of the 2006 Tech Awards from the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley, CatComm uses social media to link grassroots community groups in Rio de Janeiro with global networks of exchange and support. In the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, CatComm is the only organization in Rio de Janeiro working at the intersection of community development, social media, and global networks. As such, the organization’s current work with social media trainings for community organizers (the first trainings of their kind in Brazil) aim to build capacity across the city’s favelas (squatter communities) to communicate and attract visibility to community actions and perspectives in the lead-up to these mega-events. Theresa received her Ph.D. from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. Entitled Catalytic Communities: The Birth of a Dot Org, her dissertation won the 2005 Gill-Chin Lim Award for Best Dissertation on International Planning and was one of three finalists for the 2004 Barclay Gibbs Jones Award for the Best Dissertation in Planning. She has published articles from this dissertation and related research in Progressive Planning, The Journal of Urban Technology, and Cidadania.org. Theresa’s undergraduate degree was in Biological Anthropology, which took her to live a semester in Madagascar studying lemur thermoregulatory behavior. She also received undergraduate concentrations in Environmental Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, from Swarthmore College. Though raised in the Washington, DC area, Theresa is a dual Brazilian and British citizen and lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Feyzan Erkip received her Ph.D. from the Department of City and Regional Planning, METU. Her professional experience includes appointments as research assistant at the Department of Building Science and Environmental Design, METU, as researcher, at the Building Research Institute, TUBITAK before joining the Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design of Bilkent University where she worked between 1990 and 2013. Her publications appeared in various journals including Environment and Planning A, Cities, European Urban and Regional Research, Environment and Behavior, Jr. of Environmental Psychology and Third World Planning Review. She is a member of the editorial board of Cities. She carried out research at NYU-Poly during 2011-2012 and at Tilburg University during 2003-2004 academic years as a visiting professor. She received URBAN-NET, Middle East Research Competition and TUBITAK research awards.
Roxana Zyman, PhD, has been employed by the National School of Public Administration of Poland since 2010. She conducted and supervised international projects, training programs and studies on public administration issues.
She was a consultant to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, where she worked on sustainable urbanization and development. She was instrumental in the preparation of the UN Forum on Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age (New York, 2008) and she was part of teams who organized other UN conferences in New York, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva. She co-edited the United Nations book "Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age" (2008) and contributed to other UN books. She was an expert in international affairs for the Office of the President of Romania, working as a civil servant, and also served as a diplomat of Romania to the United Nations in New York.
Roxana Zyman holds a Master in Public Administration from the State University of New York, Albany, NY, USA, a Master in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She was a recipient of a Ron Brown Fellowship (US Department of State).
Leylac Naqvi has worked with nonprofit organizations in Kenya, Pakistan, and Singapore, where she is currently based. Her professional experience has been to a large extent international and cross-cultural in nature, involving collaboration and coordination with diverse groups of stakeholders. She has worked to develop and support programs in the areas of human rights and gender, and in several other areas. She holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. magna cum laude in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College. Living in Asia for nearly a decade has exposed her to the rapid processes of urbanization and the direct impact these have on people’s quality of life.
Anamaria Vrabie is an urban economist and local development professional. In the past 8 years Anamaria consolidated organizations and new modes of action for urban and regional development practice in Romania, acting as co-founder for the Creative Room NGO and the start-up MKBT: Make Better. Her work has led to urban development plans, concepts and frameworks for urban regeneration, educational programmes and new funding mechanisms for the cultural sector.
She holds a BA from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and an MA in International Affairs as a Fulbright Scholar at The New School New York. She is a member of several international networks, including Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum and BUILD of the German Marshall Fund.
Antonieta Castro-Cosio, PhD, obtained her doctorate in Public and Urban Policy at The New School, in New York City. Her research areas include sustainable development policy, social-ecological resilience, and financial inclusion in low-income urban areas. She currently works for a think-tank in New York City doing research on financial inclusion in cities. Before obtaining PhD, she served as Director of the Sustainable Development Dialogue at the British Embassy in Mexico, funded by the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, monitoring projects in the areas of sustainable cities, governance for sustainable development, climate change and energy, natural resources management, and sustainable consumption and production. She holds a MSc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a BSc. In International Relations from Tec of Monterrey, and a specialization degree in Energy and Environmental Management and Policy from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO).
Ashley Simone is a New York City based writer, educator, designer and photographer. She holds an M. Arch from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University and teaches at Pratt Institute, School of Architecture. In 2016, she became a member of the GSAPP/NEW INC Incubator, an initiative of Columbia University and the New Museum. Her photography focuses on the built environment and has been exhibited in New York and London, and published in journals and magazines that include Architectural Design and Interior Design. She is the editor of A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form by Kenneth Frampton (Lars Müller Publishers, 2015), Absurd Thinking Between Art and Design by Allan Wexler (Lars Müller Publishers, 2017), and the monograph, Michael Webb: Two Journeys.
Silvia Vercher is an architect who specializes in urban design with eight years of international experience. Trained in architecture, urban design and urban planning, Silvia draws from her interdisciplinary experience to create culturally rich and ecologically relevant projects from the infrastructural scale to the site level. Silvia is works as a designer at Perkins Eastman in New York City.
Silvia´s design approach is characterized by a critical balance of context, culture, and program. Key to her methodology is the intense investigation of each site´s relationship to its environment, history, and future changes. Silvia´s work can be found across North and South America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia, and recent projects include: co-author at the side event in Habitat III, Ecuador; the ambitious masterplan in Brooklyn, NYC, together with SCAPE; the winning international design competition and construction of the Rike Park in Tbilisi, Georgia, together with CMD; and the collaboration of the Zurich tower in Mexico City with FR-EE.
Silvia holds a Master of Architecture and Urban Design with Distinction from Columbia University, Master of Urban Planning from the University of South Australia, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University Polytechnic of Valencia, Spain, and Aarhus Arkitekskolen in Denmark.
Maureen Abi Ghanem is an architect and urban strategist. As a consultant for the Center for Active Design (CfAD) in New York City, she promotes healthy communities through Fitwel design strategies. In 2016, her role at UN-Habitat NY supported the Urban October events, where partners met to discuss the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III). Previously, she was a Shelter Coordinator at UNHCR-Lebanon (2014-16), ensuring Syrian refugees gain access to affordable urban housing and safe schooling structures in one of the most densely populated governorates in the country. Her role included managing the adaptive reuse of sub-standard buildings as well as coordinating neighborhood and water infrastructure development in vulnerable communities affected by displacement. Between 2010 and 2014, she was a member of one of the largest real estate developing firms in the Middle East, Solidere, and worked on conceptualizing large-scale master plans of mixed-use projects intended for the regeneration of city quarters in the Gulf region. She is currently building an Instagram account entitled “@cities.and.me”, an online photographic investigation of successful public spaces. She received a B.Arch and a M.UD from the American university of Beirut, and the German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship (DAAD, 2012-13) for urban design and regional planning in Berlin.
Irem Ayan is volunteering at CSU where she has gained invaluable experience. As a freelance conference interpreter, she is undertaking tasks in local governance, city planning and urbanization-related issues. Currently course-complete, she is pursuing her Ph.D. Degree in Translation Studies as a Fulbright Scholar at State University of New York at Binghamton where she is also teaching French and lecturing on theories of translation. Her Ph.D. research is focused on the intersection between translation and Gender Studies. She has majored in French Language and Literature at Hacettepe University (Turkey), mastered in Conference Interpretation (English-French-Turkish) at Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels, and undergone extensive training within a number of international organizations such as the UN, NATO, EU and Eurocontrol. She has previously worked as a staff interpreter within the Foreign Relations Department of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality as well as a freelancer for the UN and the EU.
Courtney Prince is interning for the CSU this fall where she is seeking experience in the field of planning and architecture. Mrs. Prince attended the United Nations International School and holds a B.A. in psychology from Duke University, as well as a minor in environmental science and policy. With experiences in healthcare as a medical researcher and EMT and an immense interest in environmental issues, she is passionate about combining these disciplines to improve quality of life in a sustainable manner. Mrs. Prince hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Architecture in the near future in order to have an impact of her own.