The SA+P Dean’s Advisory Council

The SA+P Dean’s Advisory Council is a group of alumni and friends of the school and the Institute who support the MIT School of Architecture and Planning’s educational and research activities, on campus and worldwide. Drawn from a range of backgrounds and expertise, they share a commitment to the school’s mission to apply our strengths in architecture, planning, design, art, urbanism, media, and real estate to discover—and deliver—better futures.

The council’s members advise and guide the dean on a variety of topics to help hone the vision for school-wide initiatives, programs, and priorities. They serve the school community and MIT by strengthening SA+P networks, connections, and resources around the globe. Members serve three-year terms and meet as a full group at MIT once a year.

Members

Hilary Ballon PhD ’85 is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi and Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies at New York University. She is part of the leadership team that is developing NYU's, full-scale campus for undergraduate and graduate students and pursuing the vision of NYU as a global network university. A founding member of the team that planned NYUAD, she has been involved in all aspects of the new university, with particular emphasis on the design of a globally oriented curriculum and of the campuses in downtown Abu Dhabi and on Saadiyat Island.

In addition to her administrative duties, Dr. Ballon teaches courses on urbanism and architecture to undergraduates and in the graduate planning program at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Her scholarship concerns cities and the intersection of architecture, politics, and social life, with a recent focus on New York City. In 2012 she received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture for her publications and curatorial work.

Before joining NYU in September 2007, Dr. Ballon had been at Columbia University since 1985. An innovative and dedicated teacher, she received Columbia's highest teaching awards: the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching, the Great Teacher Award, and the Philip and Ruth Hettleman Teaching Award.

Dr. Ballon received a BA from Princeton and a PhD from MIT. She has been a member of the MIT Architecture Visiting Committee since 2011.

José Miguel Bejos is the Vice President for Grupo PRODI, in Mexico. A graduate of Universidad Anáhuac, Bejos became Vice President of Compañía lnversora Corporativa (CIC), the Mexican holding company founded by his family two generations ago and composed of operations in sectors such as construction, outdoor advertising, mass transit operations, aeronautics, and marine activities.

Among his showcase accomplishments during his time at CIC is the design and construction of the Mexipuerto Ciudad Azteca, the first high-quality transit-oriented development in Mexico. The project was undertaken in partnership with lmpulsora del Desarrollo y Empleo en América Latina (IDEAL) of Grupo Carso. This project marked a new standard in the development of transportation infrastructure designed with the passenger in mind.

Grupo Promotor de Desarrollo e lnfraestructura (Grupo PRODI) was created to incorporate the expanded activities of the conglomerate, where Mr. Bejos has presided in a role of leadership since its inception four years ago. Grupo PRODI continues the original vision of CIC, providing comprehensive services for the design and construction of medium- and large-scale infrastructure projects with presence in various states of the Mexican Republic. Grupo PRODI, in partnership with Shaw Group, has financed and built petroleum production platforms at the Lobina site for the Mexican oil monopoly, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). Among Grupo PRODI's previous clients are: the Mexican Federal Government, various state governments, PEMEX, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), and various private sector clients.

In the outdoor advertising industry, Mr. Bejos is a founding partner of lmágenes y Muebles Urbanos (IMU), where he holds the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors. IMU is an outdoor furniture company that services Mexico's largest city with more than 20,000 advertising podiums, benches, etc. IMU also operates publicity installations in 15 other Mexican cities. As a member of the Board of Directors of Grupo Mexicano de Aeronáutica (GMA), which includes companies such as Bell Helicopter Mexico and Servicio Técnico Aéreo México (STAM), Mr. Bejos has achieved market leadership in rotary wing transport, carrying more than 1.5 million passengers annually, with operations in five Mexican cities.

Hadeel Ibrahim is the founding Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which was established in 2006 to support leadership and governance in Africa. Ms. Ibrahim is also co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Africa Center in New York, whose mission is to promote partnership, collaboration, dialogue, and understanding between African artists, business leaders, and civil society and their counterparts in the United States and beyond.

Ms. Ibrahim sits of the boards of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, the Clinton Foundation, Synergos Institute, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, and the Governing Board of the African Governance Institute (AGI). She is also a Patron of Restless Development, a youth-led development agency. 

Ms. Ibrahim previously served as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, on the Boards of Refugees International, the Carter Center (UK), and the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards Judging Panel. 

Scott Lawin is a member of the Board of Directors and Chief Operating Officer of Moore Capital Management, a global alternative investment firm.

Prior to joining Moore in 2010, Mr. Lawin was a Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Liquid Markets Hedge Fund business at Fortress Investment Group. Prior to joining Fortress in 2005, Mr. Lawin spent 12 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co., serving as Global Head of the Credit Liability Management business, Head of Global Strategy and Chief of Staff of the Fixed Income, Currency & Commodity Division, founding member and Chief Operating Officer of GS Ventures, and Head of the Energy & Power Capital Markets group.

Mr. Lawin earned his SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993.

Alan Leventhal is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Capital Partners, a private REIT based in Boston. Since 1998, Beacon has raised eight investment vehicles totaling over $12 billion in equity from a diverse investor group including leading endowments; foundations; public, private and foreign pension funds; financial institutions; and sovereign wealth funds. This equity capital has financed 150 office investments with a value of over $30 billion. Prior to the formation of Beacon, Mr. Leventhal was CEO and President of Beacon Properties Corporation, a publicly traded REIT. In 1997, he merged that company into Equity Office Properties at peak stock value for his shareholders.   

In 1996 and 1997, Mr. Leventhal was awarded the Realty Stock Review’s Outstanding CEO award and, in 1996, he received the Commercial Property News Office Property Executive of the Year Award. In 2004, he was Ernst & Young’s New England Entrepreneur of the Year and, in 2015, he received the Linde Public Service Award from the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

Mr. Leventhal is the Chairman of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, which focuses on funding the best and brightest young cancer investigators. The organization has had remarkable success and has funded 12 individuals early in their careers who later won the Nobel Prize.

Mr. Leventhal has also been active at several major universities. He currently serves on the MIT Corporation and together with his wife, Sherry, recently endowed the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism in his father’s name. Mr. Leventhal led Boston University through a period of transition from 2004 to 2008 as Chairman of its Board of Trustees. During his tenure, the university instituted new governance policies that led to reformation of the Board of Trustees, the appointment of a new President, and the initiation of BU’s first major capital campaign. Previously, he served on the boards of his alma maters, Northwestern University and the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.            

Priti Paul ’90 is director of the century-old Apeejay Surrender Group and Oxford Bookstores. She was educated at MIT, Harvard University, the Architectural Association School of Architecture, UK, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

She has been at the forefront of managing the business of the century-old Apeejay Surrendra Group post her father’s assassination in 1990. She has expanded the business of the Oxford Bookstore in India and abroad and launched ApeejayArts, India’s first gallery of 'new media' art, among other initiatives.

Having conceptualized, designed, and launched a range of projects in India and abroad, Priti Paul’s latest initiative is her childrens alphabet book ABC Desi - this is a lovingly created alphabet book with a difference - where English alphabets and Indian imagery meet drama, beauty and uniqueness.

Priti Paul is a member of prestigious organizations like Royal Institute of British Architects, Women in Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA), England, India Committee of American Bureau of Shipping (USA), FICCI Committee of Art and Business of Art (India), Harvard Club (India), MIT Club (India), Founder - Apeejay Kolkatta Literary Festival (AKLF).

Cynthia Reed is active in MIT leadership positions and cultural activities throughout Boston. From 2010 to 2014, she served as chair of the MIT Corporation Partner’s Program, and for the past eight years has been a member of the MIT Humanities Visiting Committee.

In addition, she has served on the Board of Overseers for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, since 2006, and became a trustee in 2011. In January 2014 she organized a series of panel discussions for the Boston Athenaeum on The Future of the Museum. She serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Le Laboratoire and on the board of The Trustees of Reservations. Ms. Reed received her BA from Northern Illinois University.

Marisa Moreira Salles is a publisher, editor, and book designer, as well as an entrepreneur in the technology space.

She co-founded BEI.Editora, a Brazilian publishing house, in 1995. From 2003 to 2010, she was the CEO of U.NEAR, an IT company she established, with longstanding partners, in 2000. In 2010, she launched Arq.Futuro, a think-tank to discuss architecture and the future of cities. And, in 2014, she set up POR QUÊ?, a digital platform dedicated to making Economics accessible to the general public.

Today, Ms. Salles co-chairs the publishing house and Arq.Futuro and runs POR QUÊ?. She is also a curator for Arq.Futuro debates and BEI.Editora exhibitions. With the help of the Arq.Futuro team, she is currently advising on the project of the new YouTube space in Rio de Janeiro.

Ms. Salles also holds board positions in several philanthropic organizations, including the São Paulo Art Biennial, the Instituto Parque do Flamengo, the Instituto Parque Ecologico Sitiê, and Urbem (the Institute of Urbanism and Studies for the Metropolis).

Mr. Talal K Shair

  • Chairman-CEO of Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair and Partners) and of the Dar Group it founded comprising Perkins + Will USA, T.Y. Lin Group USA, PYR Interiors France, Penspen Group UK, IPA Energy + Water Economics UK, Landrum & Brown USA, D2 Consult Austria, Ross & Baruzzini USA, Currie & Brown UK, and Maffeis Engineering Italy.
  • Member - Young Presidents Organization.
  • Founding Member - Young Presidents Organization, Cairo Chapter.
  • Member - Board of Trustees of American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Member - Board of Trustees of International College, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Member - Board of Trustees of King’s Academy, Jordan.
  • Member - LAU Advisory Board.

Kenneth Wang ’71 graduated from MIT with an SB in economics (Course XIV) and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1976. He worked with Fairfield-Maxwell Ltd. and Bank of America in the area of shipping and ship financing for six years before joining a family-owned company, Oceanic Petroleum Corporation, in 1980.

Oceanic, since sold, was involved in the refining and marketing of oil and related petroleum products in Southeast Asia. Since 1983, Mr. Wang has been active as President of U.S. Summit Company, based in New York City. This company’s primary activities involve marketing and distribution of ethical pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and industrial chemicals in Southeast Asia. Other activities include development, ownership, and operation of golf-related properties in the tri-state NYC area.

Mr. Wang has been a member of the MIT Corporation since 2005. He served on numerous Corporation committees, including the MIT Architecture Visiting Committee (2005-2015) and the Corporation Development Committee (1990-2005), and has served in numerous leadership roles for the MIT Alumni Association, including as a Board Member from 2003 to 2005, President’s Committee Member from 2008 to 2012, and President from 2009 to 2010.