Announcing the new Dean of Architecture and Planning

October 23, 2014

To members of the MIT community:

I am very pleased to send the news that Hashim Sarkis, who is the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, has accepted MIT's offer to become the next Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. I expect that Professor Sarkis's appointment will commence at the beginning of the spring semester, in January 2015.

This appointment follows a lengthy search that began earlier this year to identify a successor to Adele Santos, who stepped down as dean last summer in order to return to research and teaching in architecture and planning.

Professor Sarkis has an outstanding record in both scholarship and architectural practice. He is the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has had many years of experience directing graduate design studies programs at Harvard. His teaching has focused on design studios in architecture and urban design, infrastructure and public space, as well as on the history and theory of architecture. He has authored several books on urban architecture and design and his writings have been included in numerous professional journals.

As a practicing architect, Professor Sarkis has studios located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Beirut, Lebanon. His projects have included a wide variety of both private and public buildings, both domestically and abroad. His work has been widely published and has been exhibited extensively, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Professor Sarkis received his BArch and BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and both his MArch and his PhD in architecture from Harvard. Before joining the Harvard faculty in 1998, Professor Sarkis was a Lecturer and Design Critic in the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and he spent several years in the 1990s as a Lecturer in the MIT Department of Architecture and as a Research Associate in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

I am very much looking forward to working with Professor Sarkis as he undertakes the leadership of the School of Architecture and Planning, building on the school's existing strengths as well as engaging new opportunities for advancing the school's prominence in research and education. I know you will join me in welcoming him to MIT and to the Architecture and Planning community in particular.

I want to express my special and sincere thanks to Mark Jarzombek, who stepped in as Interim Dean last July and has done a superb job in fulfilling this role as the search process for a permanent dean was conducted. I know you will join me in conveying to Mark our greatest appreciation for his service to the school during this time.

Finally, I wish to thank the committee, chaired by Professor Anne Spirn, that advised me on the selection of the new dean. I greatly appreciate the time and energy that this group devoted to the search process.


Martin A. Schmidt

Advisory Committee
Eran Ben-Joseph
Renée Green
Joi Ito
Mitchel Resnick
Anne Spirn (chair)
Nader Tehrani
Meejin Yoon