Board of Directors

Mohammad al-Asad is an architect and architectural historian, and the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Built Environment in Amman. He studied architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and history of architecture at Harvard University, before taking post-doctoral research positions at Harvard and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has taught at the University of Jordan, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was the Alan K. and Leonarda Laing Distinguished Visiting Professor. He was also adjunct professor at Carleton University in Ottawa.

He has published in both Arabic and English on the architecture of the Islamic world, in books and academic and professional journals. He is the author of Old Houses of Jordan: Amman 1920-1950 (1997) and Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East (2012); and co-author (with Ghazi Bisheh and Fawzi Zayadine) of The Umayyads: The Rise of Islamic Art (2000) and (with Sahel Al Hiyari and Álvaro Siza) Sahel Al Hiyari | Projects (2005). He is the editor of Workplaces: The Transformation of Places of Production: Industrialization and the Built Environment in the Islamic World (2010), and co-editor (with Majd Musa) of Architectural Journalism and Criticism: Global Perspectives (2007) and Exploring the Built Environment (2007).

He has been a member of the board of directors of organizations including the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts (part of the Royal Society for Fine Arts) and the Jordan Museum. He served as project reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture during the 1989, 1995, 1998, 2004 and 2007 cycles, and is currently a member of the Award's Steering Committee.

Hani Imam Hussaini is a practicing architect, and the founder and director of Almarsam Architects & Engineers in Amman. He received his architectural education from the University of Cambridge, where he obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees, as well as his Diploma in Architecture. He practiced architecture in the United Kingdom, both independently and at the London practice of Panter Hudspith Architects. He was a Partner and Head of Architecture at Omrania & Associates, and the director of its Jordan offices which he helped establish. Apart from Jordan and the United Kingdom, he has been involved in projects in Greece, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank. His experience spans a very wide range of sectors and scales, and includes residential, commercial, retail, leisure, hospitality, education, and sports projects. Hussaini is a member of both the Jordan Engineers Association and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

 Thamer Obeidat is an attorney at law and a partner with the law firm of Obeidat & Freihat in Amman, Jordan. He studied law at the University of Jordan and at Harvard Law School. Before returning to Jordan in 1992, he practiced law in the United States as an associate with the New York firm of White and Case and is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. He is also a founder and director of IP Matters, a Jordanian company concerned with the registration and protection of intellectual property rights inside and outside Jordan. He is a member of the board of directors of Arab Potash Company and of Jordan Training Technology Group/Rubicon. His public service activities include serving as a trustee, secretary, and treasurer for Turab, a Jordanian association that aims at preserving and promoting Jordan's Arab and Islamic cultural heritage. He is also a founding member and past member of the board of trustees of the Jordan Society for Quality, an association that aims at raising awareness and improving standards in Jordan regarding quality in industry and services.

 Laith al-Qasem currently holds several positions. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Arabian Business Consultants for Development, the Vice-Chairman of RUBICON (Jordan Training Technology Group), the Vice-Chairman of the Amman World Trade Center, and the Chairman of Applied Engineering Ltd. He studied engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and holds an MBA from Georgetown University. His career spans both technology and investment. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Jordan Technology Group (JTG), where he was intimately involved in 16 technology oriented start-up companies. He also had served as an equity and fixed income investment manager at the Arab Jordan Investment Bank, and as the marketing and finance manager for Royal Jordanian's Engine Overhaul facility. He also was an engineer with the Jordan Electricity Authority, and before that with Hughes Aircraft Ground Systems Group in Fullerton, California. He was a founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Association and its president from 1999-2004, and also a founder and board member of the Jordan Society for Quality.

 Farouk Yaghmour is an architect and planner, and is the principal of Dr. Yaghmour Consulting Architects & Engineers (Amman, Bethlehem, Sharjah, and Dubai). He studied architecture at the Hoch Schule fur Architektur und Bauwesen in Weimar, and did his graduate work at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he holds a master’s degree in architecture and a Ph.D. in planning. He taught at the University of Jordan and the State University of New York, and was the founding chairman of the Department of Architecture and Interior Design at the Jordan University for Women (presently Petra University). He has practiced architecture in Jordan, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. He has been in charge of the urban and architectural development for a number of important historical sites including the Solomon Pools in Bethlehem, the Palestinian village of Beit Sahur, and the Baptism site along the Jordan River in Jordan. He also was involved in efforts aimed at preserving the historical Palestinian city of Hebron. Yaghmour is the author of several publications addressing the subjects of architecture and environmental and urban planning. He also has served on a number of public advisory committees in Jordan, including the Beautification of the City of Amman Committee, the National Committee for Building Codes, and the Historic City of Petra Committee.

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