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For more information on the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, contact: Rob Valero at

CREUA 2013 Annual Report

Current Faculty and Staff

Chris Leinberger

Christopher B. Leinberger is a land use strategist, teacher, developer, researcher and author, balancing business realities with social and environmental concerns. Mr. Leinberger is the Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor and Chair of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business. He is also the president of Locus: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, a political advocacy organization working on the national and state levels. He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington DC. Finally, he is a founding partner of Arcadia Land Company, a New Urbanism and transit-oriented development firm based in Philadelphia.

For twenty years, Professor Leinberger was the Managing Director and owner of Robert Charles Lesser & Co., a leading international market, financial feasibility and strategic planning firm for the real estate industry.

His most recent book is The Option of Urbanism, Investing in a New American Dream. He is the author of Strategic Planning for Real Estate Companies and has contributed chapters to 12 other books. He is an Op-Ed Contributor to the The New York Times, writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly and numerous other magazines. CNN, National Public Radio, Atlantic Cities Channel, Washington Post, among others, have profiled him.

Leinberger was voted one of the "Top 100 Urban Thinkers" in a 2009 poll conducted by Planetizen, the international urban planning website. He was the 2010 William H. Whyte Urbanism Award winner by Partners for Livable Communities.

Leinberger is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Harvard Business School and lives within walking distance of GW in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Robert Valero
Executive Director

Rob Valero is Executive Director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis (CREUA) at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). His responsibilities include developing GWSB's real estate curriculum for undergraduate and MBA students, promoting the university's real estate offerings to prospective students, providing career guidance to students and engaging with alumni. Mr. Valero coordinates the CREUA's conferences and develops networking and outside-the-classroom educational events for students and alumni. He serves as an advisor to the Real Estate Investment and Development Organizations (REIDO), the student real estate clubs. He also is responsible for increasing awareness of GW real estate locally, nationally and internationally.

Prior to joining the CREUA, Mr. Valero was vice president of investor relations at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT). At NAREIT, he was the Association's liaison with individual and international investors, the Wall Street analyst community, and member company investor relations professionals. He was responsible for the development and management of its award-winning Website,

Mr. Valero has more than 30 years of public affairs and communications experience in both the public and private sectors. He began his career as a speechwriter for former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole before joining the worldwide public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. He also served as a speechwriter and communications executive at the American Automobile Manufacturers, headed by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Andrew Card, Jr.

Mr. Valero earned a B.A. in public affairs from The George Washington University.

Tom Geurts, FRICS

Dr. Geurts is an Associate Professor of Finance and Real Estate at George Washington University, joining GW in September 2011. Dr. Geurts has been teaching topics related to real estate market and investment analysis, finance, valuation and risk and portfolio management at several universities, including the University of California at Riverside, Marist College, and most recently New York University (NYU). At NYU he also organized and taught numerous Executive Education courses for practitioners from all around the world. He has received teaching awards at both NYU and GW, where students have commented favorably on his ability to mix a sound theoretical framework with practical applications and the use of relevant "real life" case studies. He draws on both his academic research and on his practical experience as the Director of Research for one of the largest real estate firms in New York.

Dr. Geurts' research has been supported by numerous grants and has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, Multinational Business Review, Journal of Real Estate Research, and the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. Dr. Geurts is a frequent guest speaker at seminars for practitioners and academic conferences and also gives yearly lectures at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Technical University of Berlin in Germany, and Homburg Academy in Charlottetown, Canada. He is currently co-authoring a book titled Global Real Estate Capital Markets: Analyzing Risk and Return, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

Dr. Geurts studied civil engineering as an undergraduate student at the Higher Technical College in Zwolle, The Netherlands and has two Masters Degrees from the University of Amsterdam, namely in Economics and Political Science. He received his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, where he received the Philip H. Sieg Fellowship.

Robert Van Order
Oliver T. Carr Professor of Real Estate

Dr. Van Order is a nationally-recognized expert in the areas of financial markets, housing finance, housing policy and real estate economics. Dr. Van Order has taught at Purdue University, USC, Queen's University (Canada), American University, UCLA, Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan and the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He was an economist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, serving as director of the Housing Finance Division, and he was chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Dr. Van Order has been a consultant to USAID, HUD, the World Bank and other corporations, agencies and organizations in both the public and private sectors. A member of the American Economic Association and the American Real Estate & Economics Association, he sits on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals. His work on economics, housing and real estate - both academic and general - has been widely published.

Dr. Van Order has a BA from Grinnell College, an MA from the University of Essex (England) and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University.

Mason Austin
Senior Research Associate

Mason Austin has nearly a decade of experience in working with municipalities, regional governments, federal agencies, and both non-profit and for-profit organizations, conducting research and analyses to foster better, sustainable, and more economically-vibrant places. These efforts included the development of transit-oriented development (TOD) strategies for both the Baltimore, MD and Pittsburgh, PA regions; the creation of a neighborhood vulnerability assessment tool and anti-displacement tool kit for the Association of Bay Area Governments; coordination and research for the Great Communities Collaborative; research on the link between TOD and both real estate and economic development (on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration); the development of a Mixed-Income TOD acquisition fund for The San Francisco Foundation; the creation of a Sustainability Action Plan for Tracey, CA. and work that contributed to neighborhood, station area or general plans in Healdsburg, CA, Houston, TX, Mountain View, CA, Oakland, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, and San Rafael, CA,.

In his work, Mason draws upon his strengths in spatial, statistical, real estate, and economic analyses.  Specifically, Mason marries his experience conducting fiscal impact analyses, market analyses, feasibility analyses, and demographic, business, and sector analyses with his background in real estate development and planning to provide a holistic view of the challenges and opportunities faced by communities. Armed with this information, stakeholders are better equipped to ensure that planning processes produce socially-, economically-, and fiscally-optimal outcomes.

Mason has a B.A. in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Haverford College and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

Patti Niles
Administrative Manager

Patti basically keeps the place running. She is in charge of all the financials, supervises all staff and students that work at CREUA, coordinates all of the proposal processes, helps organize all of our events, manages the Website, creates and maintains all of our databases, manages many of our projects, oversees all of the administrative duties, and so much more. In addition to working for CREUA, Patti also works within the GW system at another research center, where she learned many of these much needed skills to become a valuable asset to our center. Before that, she spent the previous 15 years teaching social studies at a couple of area high schools. She has both her B.A. (International Affairs) and M.Ed. (Secondary Education) from George Washington University and is currently studying for a M.A. in History, so she can teach it at the local area community college. She is interested in digital history and its implications for the study as well as the preservation of history.

Evan Doynow
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Evan is a current senior at the George Washington University School of Business and with concentrations in finance and international business. He is originally from New York and is now looking to enter into a career in finance. He has been assisting with research on various research projects and proposal management.

James LaFaso
Administrative Assistant

James is currently a sophomore studying International Affairs with a concentration in International Development at the Elliott School of International Affairs. At the CREUA, James assists with administrative tasks including responding to emails and scheduling meetings. He has an focused development interest in infrastructure planning and access to water and hopes to some day work on large-scale poverty alleviation projects.