Eric Cesal is the new executive director of Architecture for Humanity (AFH), the nonprofit’s board of directors announced today. A longtime volunteer, Cesal joined AFH full-time in 2010 to start the Haiti Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince. Since 2012 he has led the organization’s global post-disaster rebuilding efforts from its headquarters in San Francisco. Cesal replaces founding executive director Cameron Sinclair, who, with cofounder Kate Stohr, announced their resignation last fall.
In 1999, when Sinclair and Stohr launched AFH with a design competition for temporary housing for Kosovo war refugees, the idea of the architect as a disaster responder was fringy at best. Fifteen years later, AFH encompasses 59 chapters in sixteen countries, and design thinking frequently claims a place in the early stages of rebuilding.