H.E. TALAL ABU GHAZALEH, Chair
MARGARET O’DONOGHUE CASTILLO
WILLIS S. DELACOUR, JR.
AMJAD UMAR, Ph.D
PATRIZIO M. CIVILI
DON C.I. OKPALA, Ph.D
BARBARA A. HILLIER
Talal Abu Ghazaleh is the chairman and founder of the Jordan-based international organization, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org). He has been called the godfather of Arab accounting and been credited with promoting the importance of Intellectual Property in the Arab region. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh designed and produced TAGI TOP – a top of the line laptop with the portability of a netbook. His Knowledge Society is one of the foremost initiatives by HE Senator Talal Abu-Ghazaleh that empowers young Arabs under the TAG-Org’s corporate responsibility. He has published multiple dictionaries: Abu-Ghazaleh ICT Directory (2008), The Abu-Ghazaleh Accountancy & Business Dictionary (2001), The Abu-Ghazaleh IP Dictionary (2000), and The Abu-Ghazaleh English-Arabic Dictionary of Accounting (1975). Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh has received many honors, including: Social responsibility awards launched by CSR Regional Network for his work in social initiatives (Kingdom of Bahrain, 2014), Man of the Year Award from Palestine International Institute (Amman, 2012), Honorary Award from the Arab Federation for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (Jordan, 2009), The International Lifetime Achievement Award (Dubai, 2008), IP Hall of Fame Inductee in the IP Hall of Fame Academy (Chicago, USA, 2007), Honorary Doctor of humane Letters (Canisius College, New York, 1988), Decoration of the Republic of Tunisia (1985), Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur (France, 1985), etc. Besides being the chair of the Honorary Council Members of the Consortium of Sustainable Development, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh has been chair of Global Alliance for ICT and Development (2009-2010), Vice Chairman Board of Directors of UN Global Compact (2007-2008), Vice Chair of the UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force (2001-2004), and many others.
SARBULAND KHAN is the former Executive Coordinator of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development. Prior to this assignment Mr. Khan was the Director for the Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Mr. Khan directed the preparation of the Ministerial meeting of the Economic and Social Council on ICT for development and has been responsible for its follow-up and the establishment of the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Task Force. Among his twenty-four years of professional experience within the United Nations, he has held positions as the Branch Chief for the Policy Coordination and Interagency Affairs, Chief for the Office of the Under-Secretary-General of the Department for International Economic and Social Affairs, and Special Assistant to Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Decolonization. From 1979 to 1981, he served as delegate of Pakistan to the General Assembly of Economic and Social Council Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Khan was the Director for the Economic Coordination in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, and served in embassies in Morocco, Brussels and The Hague. From 1967 to 1969, Mr. Khan was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics in Punjab University of Lahore and staff Economist at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in 1966-67. Mr. Khan has a Masters degree in economics, a post-graduate diploma in International Economic Relations from the Institute for Social Studies, The Hague. He has authored a number of publications and various articles in economics for books, journals, newspapers and magazines.
Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, is Chief Architect of New York City as appointed by the NYC Department of Design & Construction. She is past president of the AIA New York Chapter, and was a principal at Helpern Architects in New York City. Under the theme of Design for a Change, she led the chapter in collaborations with the Mayor’s Office of Long-term Planning & Sustainability, the Department of Buildings, and the AIANY Chapter Committee on the Environment to create programs to educate architects and the public on sustainable building design. The theme recognizes the essential, now unavoidable shifts in the way buildings and neighborhoods are created where each decision has an impact on our health, our safety, and the environment. In 2010 she presented New York City’s PlaNYC at the World Urban Forum 5 in Rio as a member of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization. At Helpern she is the lead architect for restoration projects that combine sustainability with historic preservation. She has lectured extensively and her projects have been featured in numerous professional publications. Margaret has emerged as a spokesperson for the New York architectural community. Margaret has been involved with AIANY for many years, as chair of Historic Buildings Committee from 2004 to 2008, and the 2009 Vice President for Public Outreach. She received a BA from Boston College and a MArch from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Robert Geddes, Robert Geddes, FAIA, was born in Philadelphia in 1923 and is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Design, M.Arch 1950. His faculty positions included: University of Pennsylvania, 1951-1965; Princeton University (Dean, School of Architecture) 1965-1990; New York University (Luce Professor of Architecture, Urbanism and History) 1990-2000. He was elected to the New York Institute for the Humanities and the National Academy of Design. Geddes co-founded a collaborative professional firm (Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham, GBQC, Architects) in Philadelphia and Princeton. The architectural practice included designs for the Institute for Advanced Study (notably the Dining Hall, Birch Garden, and School of Social Sciences), colleges and universities, social housing and community buildings. The civic design practice included Vienna South International Competition, first prize 1971; Liberty State Park Master Plan for State of New Jersey 1979; and the Plan for Center City Philadelphia 1988. During his tenure in New York, Geddes chaired the RPA architects committee for the third Regional Plan; and for the UN Habitat II summit in Istanbul, he organized its “Conference on Cities in North America”, edited its book, “Cities in Our Future,” and co-founded the Crosstown 116 collaborative of UN Habitat, US Department of HUD, City College of New York, and AIA New York. In 1979, Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham, received the national AIA Architectural Firm Award. In 1984, he received the AIA / ACSA Topaz Medallion for architectural education. In 2012, Princeton University Press published his book, “Fit: an Architect’s Manifesto.”
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.
Maxinne Rhea Leighton has held numerous leadership roles as a senior-level strategist in design firms for the past twenty years, most recently at the consulting engineering firm Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B). A co-editor of The Future of Cities: An Integrated Approach to Urban Cities, she was part of the writing and editorial team for the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Post-Sandy Initiative Policy Report as well as the SCAPE/Landscape Architecture Living Breakwaters team during the design competition for HUD’s Rebuild by Design. Ms. Leighton serves on the New York AIA’s Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) Committee, the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization and has facilitated numerous panels on infrastructure at the United Nations and the AIA. She is author of An Ellis Island Christmas, a book for children about immigration (Viking Penguin), co-author of Grand Central: Gateway to A Million Lives (W.W. Norton) and Educating for Social Justice: A Dangerous Game: Matilda Joslyn Gage Center (Journal of Museum Studies). With a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from New York University, Maxinne Rhea Leighton is a doctoral candidate (PhD in Leadership and Change) focusing on sustainable urbanization within climate-vulnerable cities.
Vincent Boudreau was appointed President of The City College of New York by the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York on December 4, 2017. Vincent has served as Interim President of CCNY since November 2016. Prior to that appointment, Vincent was inaugural dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at CCNY since 2013. He was previously director of the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service from 2002 through 2013.” at CCNY, and is a professor of political science at City College and a member of the City University of New York graduate faculty. A specialist in the politics of social movements, particularly in Southeast Asia, his latest book is Resisting Dictatorship: Repression and Protest in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press) He also conducts research about government transitions to democracy, collective violence, and the relationship between civil society, social movements, and democratization processes in Indonesia and the Philippines. He is the academic adviser to the International Development Program at the City University of Hong Kong. At City College, Dr. Boudreau has served as the director of the M.A. Program in International Relations, the chair of the Department of Political Science, the director of the International Studies Program, and the deputy dean of the Division of Social Science. In addition to his academic work, he has undertaken projects with ActionAid Asia, Jubilee South Asia, and The Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, and has consulted for Oxfam Asia, Action of Economic Reform (Philippines), and Freedom House. Dr. Boudreau received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1991.
Frances Bronet is president of Pratt Institute in New York City. An educator and leader at the forefront of interdisciplinary learning, Bronet previously served as senior vice president and provost at Illinois Institute of Technology; acting provost and dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts of the University of Oregon; and architecture professor, associate dean, and acting dean at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her extensively funded work on multidisciplinary design curricula—from architecture and engineering to dance and fine arts, coupled with her own action-based installations with internationally acclaimed artists—have been highly recognized. Bronet holds architecture and engineering professional degrees from McGill University; she received her graduate degree from Columbia University. She was licensed by the Quebec Ordre des Architectes, and has practiced in multiple award-winning offices in New York and Canada, including her own in Montreal.
Ambassador Dr. Michal Mlynár has been the Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations in New York since August 2017. In 2015-2017, he was Director General for International Organizations, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Prior to that (2012-2015), he was posted as Slovakia's Ambassador in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2004-2009, he served in New York as Deputy Permanent Representative. He has been a member of Slovakia's Foreign Service since 2000. He is a linguist and former high school teacher.
Erich Winkler is an Information Technology Professional with extensive experience in implementing innovative information technology and business intelligence solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of large global companies around the world, both in highly developed and in newly emerging markets. Erich is particularly interested in the opportunities created by information technologies to improve the sustainability of our planet and thereby creating better living conditions for everyone. Erich has a degree in Business Administration from the School of Business Administration in Zurich (KVZ). He also served on the Board of the NY chapter of the Society for Information Management (SIM), and has been a guest lecturer on Information Technology and Leadership Development at several Business Schools in the New York Metropolitan area.
Tom Wright is the President of Regional Plan Association, a non-profit urban planning think-tank focused on improving the prosperity, infrastructure, sustainability and quality of life of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region. He has steered many of the organization's key initiatives, including the Draft Vision Plan for the City of Newark (2006) and A Region at Risk: The Third Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area (1996). Mr. Wright oversees the day-to-day operations of RPA and coordinates activities with the Board of Directors. Prior to becoming president on Jan. 1, 2015, he was RPA's executive director. Previously, he was deputy executive director of the New Jersey Office of State Planning, where he coordinated production of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (2001). From 1991 to 1993, he was coordinator of the award-winning Mayors' Institute on City Design, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Wright lectures widely on growth management and regional planning. He is a visiting lecturer in public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; and the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture. Mr. Wright is a member of NYC's Sustainability Advisory Board, which helped prepare PlaNYC 2030, and of New York City's Waterfront Advisory Committee. He is also a part of the Board of Directors for the Eno Center for Transportation and the Forum + Institute for Urban Design, and furthermore serves on the Advisory Committee for the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the City College of New York. Mr. Wright received a Bachelor of Arts in history and a certificate in American Studies from Princeton University, and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
Carmi Bee, FAIA, has been deeply involved in planning and architectural research, beginning with his early work at Princeton and continuing as a consultant to several major firms. He has been with RKTB since 1981. Mr. Bee has been committed to investigating the problem of urban building in all forms. He has produced innovative designs for a wide range of building types, including new, renovated and restored residential buildings, retail spaces, offices, educational and performance facilities. In 2001 he designed a ground-breaking infill prototype for affordable housing which is aimed at filling vacant lots scattered throughout the city’s residential neighborhoods. Known as “Smart Housing,” this concept has been successfully applied to a number of projects in New York City and can serve as a model in other cities, as well. These include the Msgr. Anthony J. Barretta Apartments, Madison Putnam Housing, Maynard Co-Ops and Prospect Gardens. Other notable projects include additions to P.S. 29Q and P.S. 70Q, the new PS/IS 338X, School for the Physical City, South Orange Performing Arts Center, FDNY Engine Company 201, the infill addition to New York Methodist Hospital, the Norma Kamali Building, Turtle Bay Residences, River Rose Residences in Battery Park City (with Charles Moore), The Memphis Residences and City Center Theater.
Theresa Williamson, Ph.D., is founder and executive director of Catalytic Communities (CatComm), an empowerment, communications, think tank, and advocacy NGO working since 2000 in support of Rio’s favelas. In addition to fostering peer-to-peer networking, strategic training and media support on behalf of community organizers, the organization has become known for advocating a community-controlled asset-based development approach to informal settlements. Theresa is an outspoken, respected advocate for the recognition of favelas' heritage status and their residents' right to be fully served as equal citizens. She has published several book chapters, four opinion pieces in The New York Times, and has been cited in dozens of publications, with appearances on The Today Show, Vice, and HBO. Dr. Williamson received the 2012 NAHRO John D. Lange International Award for her contributions to the international housing debate and 2005 Gill-Chin Lim Award for Best Dissertation on International Planning. She is editor-in-chief of RioOnWatch, CatComm’s internationally recognized watchdog favela news service regarded for its work in informing and influencing international journalists covering the Olympics, and local debates on housing. Dr. Williamson earned her B.A. in Biological Anthropology from Swarthmore College and Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Willis S. DeLaCour Jr. is a partner of DeLaCour, Ferrara & Church Architects His architectural degrees include Columbia University, Master of Architecture, 1970 ,Pratt Institute, Bachelor of Architecture, 1969 ,Fulbright Fellowship, Turkey, 1968 Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, Bachelor of Architecture, 1968 ,University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Bachelor of Arts, 1965 Mr. DeLaCour has practiced as a principal in architectural firms His firm has overseen the design and completion of a series of multi-family housing developments in Manhattan, the Bronx. He was the Co-Chairman 2003-2011 - Housing Committee and Former Chairman - Historic Buildings Committee - 1981 - 1985, He received many awards including American Institute of Architects - New York Chapter AWARDS 2003 Vice Presidential Citation to The Affordable Housing Task Force
Dr. Amjad Umar received an M.S. in Computer and Communication Engineering and a PhD. in Information Systems Engineering, both from the University of Michigan. Currently he is Chief Architect of a United Nations Small Islands and Developing States (SIDS) Partnership that is focusing on using the latest digital innovations to help the underserved populations. He is also a Fulbright Senior Specialist on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and Founder/CEO of a startup that is focusing on digital transformation. As a Professor and Director of ICT Program, he teaches graduate level courses in Strategic Planning for Digital Transformation, Architectures and Integration of Digital Enterprises, and Smart Cities at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. He was previously an Adjunct Professor of Telecommunications and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania for 15 years and the Fordham Graduate School of Business for 5 years. His 30+ years of experience includes senior management and consulting/advisory positions with governments and industries around the globe. As a Director of Research at Bellcore (part of the Bell Labs system) for 10 years, he supervised large scale projects in technology planning, enterprise architectures and integration, mobile computing, information security, and collaborative systems that were funded by DARPA and Telecom providers. He has consulted with global telecom organizations, US Department of Navy, US Army Research Labs, Frost and Sullivan (England), Toyota Corp., Society of Manufacturing Engineers, healthcare organizations, professional services organizations, and academic institutions in England, Singapore, China, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Canada and more than 40 developing countries. He has written eight books and published more than 50 papers on different aspects of digital enterprises and the enabling technologies.
PATRIZIO M. CIVILI is currently Special Advisor to the Director General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) after serving as IDLO’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York from 2007 to 2020. From 1998 to 2007 he was Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Interagency Affairs in the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs, acting simultaneously as Secretary of the Chief Executives’ Board (CEB) which comprises, under the chairmanship of the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Heads of all Specialized Agencies and UN Programs and Funds. Mr. Civili joined the UN Secretariat in New York in 1969. Serving under 5 successive UN Secretaries-General, he held a number of senior positions concerned with economic cooperation, policy coordination, and institutional affairs in Port of Spain for ECLAC, and in New York and Geneva including: in the Office of the Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation; as Chief of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; management Director and senior member in the cabinet of the Secretary-General of UNCTAD; and Director in the Executive Offices of Secretaries-General Boutros Boutros Ghali and Kofi Annan. Mr. Civili holds a degree of doctor in Political Science from the University of Rome, with specialization in Comparative Constitutional Law, and an MA in Comparative Government from the University of Washington in Seattle. He has also attended Gonzaga University in Spokane Wash. And Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in Bologna. In 2014, Mr. Civili was awarded the title of ‘Commendatore’ of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Don Okpala, PhD was formerly Director of the Monitoring and Research Division of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in Nairobi, Kenya. Before Dr. Okpala was a Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (N.I.S.E.R.) Ibadan, Nigeria. He served as consultant to the World Bank and was coordinator of the World Bank’s Nigerian Urban Priorities Study (1982-1983). He was awarded the Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Fellowship in 1983. Okpala coordinated the preparation of urban development structure plans for three towns/cities for the Anambra State Government, Nigeria. Okpala is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (FNITP). He is also a Member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, as well as a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management Consultants. He holds a B.A. Hons Degree in Geography from the University of Ibadan, and a Masters Degree in Regional Planning from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Okpala has researched, written and published extensively on issues of urban and regional planning, land management, housing and housing finance as well as on related socio-economic development issues.
In 2007, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mr. Adlerstein, FAIA as the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for the $2 billion renovation of the UN Headquarters in New York, the Capital Master Plan. The major goals of the project were to improve sustainability, enhance blast security, and to incorporate state of the art technology into the preservation of the iconic historic compound. From advanced planning through construction, his core UN team, assisted by consultants and advisors, renovated all the facilities while the UN never lost a day of work. To achieve this, over 10,000 staff including dozens of high-level officials, a major data centre, the General Assembly Hall and 18 other major conference rooms were moved out of the compound to swing space and then back, in several phases. The project was completed in 2015, on schedule and within 4% of its original budget. Previously, Mr. Adlerstein served as the Chief Historical Architect for the National Park Service. During his National Park Service career, he was the Project Director for the restoration of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and managed many complex partnership projects, including Gettysburg, Valley Forge, Acadia and Jamestown. He participated with the US State Department on many international preservation consultancies including the Taj Mahal in India. He currently teaches Sustainable Retrofits at Columbia University.
Dr. Serpil Guran is the Director of Rutgers EcoComplex “Clean Energy Innovation Center”. She also manages the new EcoIgnite: Clean Technology Proof of Concept Center and Accelerator” program. Her responsibilities include management of the EcoComplex operations, programs, business incubator and facilities, as well as providing vision and leadership in establishing the EcoComplex as a center for the commercialization of environmental and clean energy technologies. She also teaches at Rutgers University’s Plant Biology Program and Department of Resource Economics. Dr. Guran is trained on thermochemical conversion (pyrolysis and gasification) of biomass and waste materials for production of fuels and chemicals. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Fuel and Energy Engineering program at The University of Leeds /United Kingdom. She specializes in research, development and assessment of sustainable biofuel and waste recycling technologies, and life cycle analysis of clean energy systems and alternative fuel production systems. Currently, she is working on Food-Energy-Water Nexus and Waste synergy by promoting integration of waste materials into Circular Carbon Economy in achieving Environmental Sustainability including Climate Change mitigation, Economic Sustainability and Social Justice.
In 1976, with separate BAs in Psychology and Interior Design, Barbara Hillier began her career as the sole interior designer in the Princeton architectural firm of her future husband, J. Robert Hillier, FAIA. From that humble start, she built a prominent interior design practice, opened Hillier’s first branch office in Philadelphia and began winning important design awards and major corporate projects as her firm expanded into six U.S and two international offices. Under an unusual Pennsylvania law enabling one to take the licensing exams after 13 years of working for an architect, Barbara gained her license and became a principal in the firm, now 500 employees. In 2007, the Hillier firm merged with a Scottish firm creating the third largest firm in the world. After finishing her personal projects, Barbara spent her two year “non-compete” earning her professional Master in Architecture degree from Princeton University. Barbara has lectured extensively and served on numerous design juries including as Chair of the AIA’s 2001 National Interior Design Jury. In 2018, to celebrate Barbara’s and her husband’s dedication to architectural education, NJIT renamed its architecture school the J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture and Design.