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Present Steering Committee Members

Past Members
Ariel Bierbaum Jennifer Klein Hania Maraqu
Naomi Chazan Daniel E. Levenson Zeina Saab
Yosef Jabareen Nora Libertun Duren Richard Sennett

Diane Davis
Project Director


Diane Davis is professor of political sociology, and head of the International Development Group in the Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. She served as acting director (2003-2004) of the Program on Human Rights and Justice at MIT.

Davis’s research and teaching interests include the politics of urban policy, cities in conflict, the relationship between cities and national development, and the political conflicts among competing territorial jurisdictions in metropolitan areas (mainly in the developing world).

Recent research, supported by both the MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, examines the relationship between police impunity, deteriorating rule of law, and changing patterns and priorities of urban governance in countries undergoing democratic transition. A current project, undertaken with Jo Beall (Institute for Development Studies at the London School of Economics) is a comparative study of the development and urban policy challenges in cities wracked by conflict.

Her book publications include: Discipline and Development: Middle Classes and Prosperity in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2004); Irregular Armed Forces and Their Role in Policies and State Formation, co-edited with Anthony Pereira (Cambridge University Press, 2003); and Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the Twentieth Century (Temple University Press, 1994). She has been editor of the research annual Political Power and Social Theory (Elsevier Ltd.) for the past 15 years.


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Anat Biletzki

Anat Biletzki has been teaching at the philosophy department in Tel Aviv University since 1979. She has traveled widely, as a visiting scholar and fellow at, among others, the department for History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, the Philosophy Department at Harvard University, the School of Social Science in the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Wittgenstein Archives in Bergen, Norway. Her publications include Talking Wolves: Thomas Hobbes on the Language of Politics and the Politics of Language (1997), (Over)Interpreting Wittgenstein (2003), and articles on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Thomas Hobbes, analytic philosophy, political thought, digital culture, and human rights.

Outside academia, Biletzki has been active in the peace movement and in several human rights projects in Israel, presenting the issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with emphasis on the evils of occupation, all over the world (Boston, Princeton, Atlanta, London, Dublin, Oslo, Bergen, Helsinki, Munich, Berlin, Istanbul). She is on the board of FFIPP-Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, and was chairperson of the board of B'Tselem - the Israeli Information center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (2001-2006). In 2005 she was chosen as one of “50 most influential women in Israel” by Globes, the Israeli business monthly, and was nominated among the “1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005.”


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Leila Farsakh



Leila Farsakh is assistant professor in political science at the University of Massachusetts Boston and research affiliate at the Center for International Studies at MIT.  She holds a PhD from the University of London (2003), and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge in the UK (1990). She has worked with a number of international organizations, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris (1993-1996) and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute in Ramallah (1998-1999). Between 2003 and 2004 she undertook post-doctoral research at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. She has published various articles and studies on issues related to the Palestinian labour migration and the Oslo Process, international migration and regional integration. Her Book, Palestinian Labor Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation, has been published by Routledge Press in fall 2005. In 2001 she won the Peace and Justice Award from the Cambridge Peace Commission, in Cambridge Mass.

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Philip S. Khoury

Philip S. Khoury is Ford International Professor of History and Associate Provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a political and social historian of the Middle East. Among his publications are Urban Notables and Arab Nationalism (Cambridge University Press); Syria and the French Mandate (Princeton University Press), which received the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association; Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East (University of California Press); The Modern Middle East: A Reader (Palgrave/MacMillan); and Recovering Beirut:  Urban Design and Post-war Reconstruction (Brill).

Professor Khoury is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a past President of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History and the advisory board of Historical Abstracts. In 1985, he established the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar at MIT, a leading public forum for the examination of contemporary Middle Eastern affairs. He is Chairman of the World Peace Foundation, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, Trustee of Trinity College, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Humanities Center, and the Toynbee Prize Foundation, and Overseer of Koç University in Istanbul.

Professor Khoury has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright-Hays Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, and Thomas J. Watson Foundation. He has been a Visiting Associate of St. Antony's College in the University of Oxford, and a Faculty Associate of Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies.


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Tali Hatuka

Tali Hatuka, is an architect, urban designer and research fellow in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Hatuka works primarily on social and architectural issues, and on the relationships between urban form, violence, everyday life and modern society. Her awards for research include the European Community Marie Curie Fellowship (2005-2008) and a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship (2004-2005).

Hatuka is co-editor of Architectural Culture: Place, Representation, Body (2005 [Hebrew]) and the author of the Hebrew edition of her book Revisionist Moments: Violent Acts and Urban Space in Contemporary Tel Aviv (forthcoming). She has also been published in a wide range of journals including the Journal of Urban Design International, Journal of Architecture and Planning Research, and Planning Perspectives. Currently, she is writing a book entitled Architecture and Civil Participation as part of a large project and exhibition funded by the European Community.

She received her PhD from the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion, Haifa, in 2005.

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Ute Meta Bauer

Ute Meta Bauer is the director of the Visual Arts Program and an associate professor at MIT. She has served as professor of theory, practice and mediation of contemporary art at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (1996 – 2006) and as founding director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway in Oslo (2002 - 2005). Additionally, she was artistic director for the 3rd Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2003-2004) and was co-curator of Documenta11 (2000 - 2002) in the team of Okwui Enwezor.

Professor Bauer has done work as a free-lance curator and was editor of several art periodicals such as META (Stuttgart), case (Barcelona, Porto) and Verkstedt (Oslo). She is advisor of a number of high profiled cultural boards such as the chairwomen of the Art Advisory Board of the Goethe Institute, a member of the International Board of the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau and most recently was nominated as a member of the Curatorial Advisory Team of the 3rd Yokohama Triennale 2008.

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William J. Mitchell

William J. Mitchell holds the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. (1954) Professorship and directs the MIT Design Laboratory and the Smart Cities group at the Media Laboratory. He was formerly Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning and Head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, both at MIT. During the recent period of extensive construction of major projects on the MIT campus, he served as Architectural Advisor to the President of MIT.

Before coming to MIT, he was the Travelstead Professor of Architecture and director of the Master in Design Studies program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; he has also served as head of the Architecture/Urban Design program at UCLA's Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and he has taught at Yale, Carnegie-Mellon, and Cambridge universities. Mitchell holds degrees from the University of Melbourne, Yale University, and Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mitchell's research focuses upon new technologies in architecture, urban design, and product design. His books include City of Bits, E-topia, Me++, Placing Words: Symbols, Space and the City, and most recently Imagining MIT: Designing a Campus for the 21 Century. His latest, World’s Greatest Architect, is forthcoming from the MIT Press. He writes a monthly column for Building Design in London, and has also served as a regular columnist for the Royal Institute of British Architects Journal.


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Everett Mendelsohn

Everett Mendelsohn is professor of the history of science at Harvard University, where he has been on the faculty since 1960. He has worked extensively on the history of the life sciences as well as on aspects of the social and sociological history of science and the relations of science and modern societies. He is the founder and former editor of the Journal of the History of Biology and a founder of the yearbook Sociology of the Sciences. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Social Science and Medicine, Social Epistemology, Social Studies of Science, and Fundamenta Scientiae, among others. He is past president of the International Council for Science Policy Studies and has been deeply involved in the relations between science and modern war as a founder of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Committee on Science, Arms Control, and National Security, and the American Academy of Arts and Science's Committee on International Security Studies. He was a founder and first president of the Cambridge based Institute for Peace and International Security. He was awarded the Gregor Mendel Medal of the reorganized Czechoslovak Academy of Science in 1991. During 1994 he held the Olaf Palme Professorship in Sweden. He received recognition for his teaching when awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize in 1996.

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John de Monchaux

John de Monchaux is professor of architecture and urban planning at MIT. He was dean of the School of Architecture and Planning from 1981 to 1992, and is interested in urban design, site planning, housing design and policy, and the institutional and organizational processes that result in good architecture and good cities. In private practice as an architect and planner from 1960 to 1981, he participated in architectural, urban design and planning projects in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, the Philippines, United Kingdom, and the United States. An active member of the local design community, de Monchaux has served on the boards of the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Architectural Center, and the Boston Civic Design Commission, of which he was the founding chair. He has been a trustee of the Boston Foundation for Architecture and a trustee and overseer of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1988, he chaired the jury for the “Boston Visions” competition and in 1990, he was on the panel selecting an architect for the new World Bank building in Washington, DC. From 1992 to 1996 he served as general manager of The Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva. With Mark Schuster he recently co-edited Preserving the Built Heritage: Tools for Implementation published in 1996 by the New England University Press. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Committee to the architecture program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. De Monchaux, who was named a Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 1988, received his BArch from Sydney University in 1960 and MArch in urban design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 1963. He was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University in 1971. He is a member of the Royal Australian Planning Institute and an honorary member of the Boston Society of Architects.

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Richard J. Samuels

Richard J. Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies. He is also the Founding Director of the MIT Japan Program. In 2005 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Samuels served as Head of the MIT Department of Political Science between 1992-1997 and as Chairman of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission from 2001-2007.  Grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Abe Fellowship Fund, the National Science Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation have supported ten years of field research in Japan. Dr. Samuels' book, Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, was published in 2007 by Cornell University Press.  His previous books include Machiavelli's Children: Leaders and Their Legacies in Italy and Japan, a comparative political and economic history of political leadership in Italy and Japan, "Rich Nation, Strong Army": National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan, The Business of the Japanese State: Energy Markets in Comparative and Historical Perspective, and Politics of Regional Policy in Japan.  His articles have appeared in International Organization, Foreign Affairs, International Security, The Journal of Modern Italian Studies, The Journal of Japanese Studies, Daedalus, The Washington Quarterly, and other scholarly journals. Dr. Samuels received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.

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Bishwapriya Sanyal

Bishwapriya Sanyal is Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning and Director, Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies, Department of Urban Studies & Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sanyal is former Vice-President of the American Planning Association, International Division. He trained as an Architect Planner with a doctorate from University of California at Los Angeles. Prof. Sanyal has also advised bilateral and multi-national donors including the Ford Foundation, World Bank, International Labour Organization, United Nations Center for Human Settlements, United Nations Development Program, and the United States Agency for International Development. He has conducted research in India, Bangladesh, Zambia, Kenya, Jordan, Lebanon, Brazil, and Curaçao. Most recent publications include: The Profession of City Planning: Changes, Successes, Failures and Challenges (1900-2000) (co-edited with L. Rodwin), Rutgers University Press; High Technology and Low-Income Communities: Prospects for the Positive Use of Advanced Information Technology (edited with W. Mitchell and D. Schön), MIT Press, 1998, and the forthcoming Comparative Planning Cultures, Routledge, May 2005.

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Amy Spelz

Amy Spelz, Jerusalem 2050 program coordinator, holds a M.A. in peace and conflict studies from the European University Center for Peace Studies and a B.A. in international relations from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. In 2003 and 2005, she spent time volunteering at the Camas, an outdoor adventure-learning center on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, where she worked primarily with at-risk youth. Prior to joining Jerusalem 2050, Ms. Spelz taught at a St. Mary’s Ryken College Preparatory School in Maryland.

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John Tirman

John Tirman is Executive Director of MIT's Center for International Studies. A political scientist, Tirman is author, or coauthor and editor, of six books on international security issues, including the Fallacy of Star Wars (1984), the first important critique of strategic defense, and Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade (1997). In addition, he has published more than 100 articles in periodicals such as the New York Times, Washington Post, World Policy Journal, The Nation, Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune. Before coming to MIT in 2004, he was program director of the Social Science Research Council. From 1986 to 1999, Tirman was executive director of the Winston Foundation for World Peace, a leading funder of work to prevent nuclear war and promote non-violent resolution of conflict. He is recipient of the U.N. Association's Human Rights Award, and serves as a trustee of several NGOs, including International Alert (London). In 1999-2000, Tirman was Fulbright Senior Scholar in Cyprus and produced an educational Web site on the conflict (http://www.cyprus-conflict.net).


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Lawrence Vale

Lawrence Vale is Professor Urban Design and Planning and Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.  He has taught in the School of Architecture and Planning since 1988.  He holds degrees from Amherst College (B.A. in American Studies, summa cum laude), M.I.T. (S.M.Arch.S.), and the University of Oxford (D.Phil.), which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.  Vale is the author or editor of six books examining urban design and housing.  Architecture, Power, and National Identity (1992), a book about capital city design on six continents, received the 1994 Spiro Kostof Book Award for Architecture and Urbanism from the Society of Architectural Historians.  A revised, 2nd edition of the book was published by Routledge in 2008.

Much of Professor Vale's most recent published work has examined the history, politics, and design of American public housing, with a focus on Boston.  He served as a consultant to the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing in 1992, and his articles about the past, present, and future of low-income housing have appeared in numerous journals and edited books.  In 1995, he served as Guest Editor of the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research for a special issue on "Public Housing Transformations."  His book, From the Puritans to the Projects:  Public Housing and Public Neighbors (Harvard University Press, 2000) received the 2001 "Best Book in Urban Affairs" Award from the Urban Affairs Association.   The book traces American cultural attitudes toward the spatial isolation of the poor all the way back to the time of the 17th-century Puritans.  A second volume, Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half Century of Struggle in Three Public Neighborhoods, was published by Harvard University Press in 2002, and received the Paul Davidoff Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 2005.   This community-focused research has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has received both the 1997 Chester Rapkin Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and a 1999 EDRA/Places Award for “Place Research.”   His work with the Commonwealth Tenants Association received the 2004 John M. Corcoran Award for Community Investment, as well as citations from both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate.

Vale is also Co-Editor, with Sam Bass Warner, Jr., of Imaging the City:  Continuing Struggles and New Directions (Center for Urban Policy Research Press, 2001), and co-editor, with Thomas J. Campanella, of The Resilient City:  How Modern Cities Recover From Disaster (Oxford University Press, 2005), which was recognized as one of the “Ten Best Books for 2005” by Planetizen, the Planning and Development network.  Finally, he is the author of a monograph about the history of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Changing Cities:  75 Years of Planning Better Futures of MIT (SA+P Press, 2008).


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