Els Verbakel is founding partner of Derman Verbakel Architecture and the Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem.  She directs the UNESCO Chair in Urban Design and Conservation Studies and is a founding member of the Israel Urban Forum. She has taught as a professor in architecture and urban design at the Technion Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Columbia University GSAPP, Princeton School of Architecture, Pratt Institute and the University of Leuven, Belgium. Els has a PhD in Architecture from Princeton University, MSc in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University and a Masters in Architecture and Civil Engineering from the University of Leuven in Belgium. She has published the books In Search of the Public. Notes on the Contemporary American City (2013), Cities of Dispersal (2008) and Constellations: Constructing Urban Design Practices (2007).