Mohammad al-Asad is an architect and architectural historian, and the founding director of CSBE. 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, the German Jordanian University, 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 in academic and professional journals. He is the author of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East (2012), co-editor (with Rahul Mehrotra) of Shaping Cities: Emerging Models of Planning Practice (2016), and editor of Workplaces: The Transformation of Places of Production: Industrialization and the Built Environment in the Islamic World (2010).
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 had served as project reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and has been a member of the Award's Steering Committee since 2008.
Lara Zureikat is a landscape architect, and the Associate Director of CSBE. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Her work at CSBE has included the design of native, water-conserving landscapes. She accordingly designed Jordan's first model water-conserving park, the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts Park, and led an extensive public resource and publication program promoting the use of drought-tolerant flora in landscape design. Lara has also collaborated with local and international architecture firms on a number of institutional and urban projects including the Palestinian Museum Hub in Bir Zeit, the Rainbow Street Regeneration Project in Amman, the Amman Master Plan, and the Dead Sea Development Zone Corniche District.
Ali Attari is a Research and Coordination Manager at CSBE. Ali received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science & Management from the University of California, Davis in 2013. Since then, he has worked on preparing environmental assessments and other environmental documentation as part of the USAID Water Reuse and Environmental Conservation Project. Ali’s interests include urban planning, alternative transportation systems, sustainable development, and urban policy.
Afnan Barqawi is an architect, and a Research and Coordination Officer at CSBE. She holds a bachelor of Architecture from the German Jordanian University, and a Master degree in Project Management/Engineering Management from the University of Jordan. She is also a horse-back rider and a member of the Jordanian National Show Jumping Team.