Drs. Marja Hoek-Smit is the Director of the International Housing Finance Program of the Wharton School Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, and an Adjunct Professor in the Wharton Real Estate Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on housing markets, urban and housing policy, and the deepening of housing finance systems, particularly in developing and emerging market economies. Specifically, her research and consulting work has included policy reforms to improve the functioning of housing and real estate markets, reform and design of housing and housing finance‐linked subsidy programs, housing demand and affordability analyses, the development of housing and housing finance indicators, design and implementation of upgrading strategies and monitoring and evaluation systems for housing programs.

She develops, coordinates and teaches executive education programs in housing finance and housing market analysis both at Wharton and in emerging market countries. She has consulted with clients including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, USAID, the United Nations, the Inter–American Development Bank, and directly for governments, non‐governmental organizations and private financial institutions. She has worked and lived in more than 50 countries in Sub‐Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South and East Asia, Latin America, and East and Central Europe. She most recently worked on housing finance and subsidy policies in Argentina, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Habitat for Humanity Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Housing.

Drs. Hoek‐Smit is also the founder and Executive Director of the Housing Finance Information NetworkHOFINET—a global web portal that consolidates international housing finance information and statistical data for public use. The HOFINET portal is sponsored by the Wharton School and partners with housing finance institutions worldwide.

Drs. Hoek‐Smit has lectured internationally at leading universities and has been a keynote speaker at major national and international professional meetings. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Amsterdam. Prior to teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, she taught at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.


Dr. Jack Guttentag is a professor emeritus of finance and has been a member of the faculty of the Wharton School since 1962. He served as an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1954-1960); as the chief of the Domestic Research Division of the bank from 1960 to 1962; and as senior staff at the National Bureau of Economic Research (1965-1973).

Dr Guttentag is co-founder of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center’s International Housing Finance Program. Dr. Guttentag’s research interests have included the reform of financial institutions, financial markets, and central banking institutions; innovations in monetary policy, real estate finance, housing economics, and commercial banking; and the restructuring of banking practices and lending procedures for the Federal Reserve, insurance firms, pensions groups, and savings and loan associations, including the design of unique mortgage instruments. Dr. Guttentag’s consulting activities complement his research interests.  His domestic clients have included JP Morgan Securities, Guild Mortgage Company, Citibank, HUD and many others. His international experience includes consulting for USAID, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations.

Dr. Guttentag was the co-founder of GHR Systems, an innovative software company specializing in point-of-sale and other mortgage management systems. He has a popular website, www.mtgprofessor.com, which is one of the most visited interactive information sites for mortgage borrowers. He has an extensive list of publications on banking and finance and was the editor of the Journal of Finance and the Housing Finance Review.


Dr. Richard Herring is Jacob Safra Professor of International Banking and Professor of Finance at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he is also founding director of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center. He is the author of more than 150 articles, monographs and books on various topics in financial regulation, international banking, and international finance.  At various times his research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Brookings Institution, the Sloan Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Royal Swedish Commission on Productivity.  He served as Vice Dean and Director of the Wharton Undergraduate Division from 1995 – 2000 and from 2000 – 2006, he was Director of the Lauder Institute, a dual degree program that combines an MBA with an MA in international studies and a high level of proficiency in one of seven foreign languages.

Outside the university, he is co-chair of the US Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee and Executive Director of the Financial Economist’s Roundtable.  He is also a member of the FDIC Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee, the Systemic Risk Council and the Hoover Institution Working Group on Resolution Policy.

Herring received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College in 1968 and his PhD from Princeton University in 1973.


Dr. Todd Sinai has served on the Wharton faculty since 1997 and is currently Professor of Real Estate and Business and Public Policy. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   Todd is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and has previously been a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He also is a Director of Sutherland Asset Management, a private mortgage REIT.

Dr. Sinai’s primary area of research focuses on housing markets, and in particular the role government policy plays in housing. His recent research covers areas such as tax expenditures for housing; the riskiness of homeownership; house price dynamics; and housing at retirement. Sinai’s research has been published in leading academic journals, such as the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, and the Journal of Public Economics, among others.


Dr. Joe Gyourko is the Martin Bucksbaum Professor of Real Estate, Finance and Business & Public Policy at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He also serves as the Nancy Nasher and David Haemiseggar Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton.  He is a past Chair of the Wharton Real Estate Department.  Professor Gyourko’s research interests include real estate finance and investments, urban economics, and housing markets, in the United States and China. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and served as Co-Director of the special NBER Project on Housing Markets and the Financial Crisis.  Professor Gyourko served as co-editor of the Journal of Urban Economics and serves on various journal editorial boards.  Professor Gyourko is a past Trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA). Finally, he consults to various private firms on real estate investment and policy matters.


Dr. Michael Lea is a lecturer in the Department of of Finance and the past Director of The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at San Diego State University. He has over 30 years of financial services industry experience, including more than 25 years of international advisory work in 30 countries spanning 6 continents. He has provided advice on a wide variety of housing and mortgage topics as a consultant to international development agencies, government-sponsored enterprises, trade groups, regulatory agencies and major private and public sector financial institutions. Dr. Lea has also served in senior executive positions at several major U.S. financial institutions.

Dr. Lea is an internationally known authority on housing and mortgage finance with more than 80 publications. His  current  research  interests  are  comparative  mortgage  finance  systems,  the  future  of  the  government – sponsored enterprises and solutions to the mortgage market crisis. He has made numerous presentations to academic, professional and government audiences. Dr. Lea has taught at Cornell University, San Diego State University, the University of California, San Diego and the Wharton International Housing Finance Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


Dr. Haluk Ünal is a Professor of Finance, at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, Special Adviser to the Center for Financial Research of the FDIC, and Senior Fellow at the Wharton Financial Institutions Center. He is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Financial Services Research.

Dr. Ünal holds doctorates in finance from The Ohio State University and in economics from Istanbul University, where he did his undergraduate work as well.   Dr. Ünal also earned an MS degree in accounting from Ohio State. He previously taught at Ohio State and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.   He teaches corporate finance, management of financial institutions, and fixed income securities courses.

His current research focuses on executive compensation, corporate bonds, bank mergers, pricing default risk, risk management, and bank resolution costs.  He is published in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Financial Services Research, Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Journal of Banking and Finance, Review of Derivatives Research, and Journal of Financial Economics and Review of Financial Studies.

Dr. Ünal has been a consultant to the World Bank, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Department of Justice. He is also on the academic council of Standard and Poor’s.   Internationally, he delivered invited lectures in Portugal, China, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Switzerland, and Turkey. He also h eld executive training for Fannie Mae, Hughes Network Systems, Oracle, SAIC, China Merchants Bank, Banco Santander, PENN – Securities  Association  of  China  Executive  Program  and  Wharton’s  Executive  Masters  in  Technology Management program. Dr. Ünal has also been the President of the Turkish-American Scientist and Scholars Association (TASSA) since 2010.


Dr. Michael J. T. McMillen is a partner in the international law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he teaches Islamic finance. He also teaches Islamic finance at the Wharton School. His legal work focuses on Islamic, project and infrastructure and real estate finance, and sovereign wealth fund matters and he has led transactions in over 40 countries.  Michael also serves as an advisor and consultant to the Islamic Financial Services Board, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, International Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UNCITRAL with respect to Islamic finance matters, especially banking systems and regulation, collateral security regimes, bankruptcy and insolvency regimes, and capital markets regulation.

Michael is internationally recognized for his work in the fields of Islamic finance and project and infrastructure finance. He has twice been honored as the best legal advisor, globally, in Islamic finance and has received numerous other awards, including the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum award for outstanding contributions to the field of Islamic finance.  Among Michael’s professional contributions, he was the founding Chair, and has twice served as Chair, of the Islamic Finance Section of the American Bar Association. Michael is widely published and a frequent speaker in the fields of Islamic finance and project and infrastructure finance. In addition to numerous academic journal publications, he has published a leading book on Islamic finance, and will soon release two other books relating to Islamic finance and real estate: a practitioners guide to leasing (conventional and Islamic); and a global history of leasing.

Michael received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He served as the Executive Editor – Research & Writing for the Wisconsin Law Review.


Mr. Roger Blood has served for the past twenty years as an independent mortgage insurance (MI) consultant to the World Bank and other international financial sector clients.  From 1990 to 2014 he was Senior Associate at Oliver Wyman (formerly Mercer Management Consulting) where he worked primarily with the U.S. private mortgage insurance firms and their industry trade association on a range of issues and in developing and managing a proprietary mortgage insurance industry database and mortgage performance risk model.

Previously, Mr. Blood was an executive with Investors Mortgage Insurance Company, a nationwide U.S. MI firm.  As Senior Vice President of Risk Management, his responsibilities included product development, underwriting and claims management, pricing and reserves and related regulatory matters, and GSE liaison.

Mr. Blood has performed mortgage default insurance-related assignments for government and private clients in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Russia, Uruguay, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Mr. Blood holds an A.B. in economics from Clark University and an MBA from the Wharton Graduate Division of the University of Pennsylvania.  Among Mr. Blood’s published articles on mortgage risk and insurance, is the “Mortgage Insurance” chapter in the World Bank’s 2009 book, Housing Finance Policy in Emerging Markets.


Mr. Fred Cooper is Senior Vice President of Finance, International Development and Investor Relations with Toll Brothers, Inc.  Toll Brothers is the leading builder of luxury homes and one of the largest land developers in the U.S. NYSE-listed firm since 1986, Toll serves home buyers and renters in suburban and urban markets in 19 states and the District of Columbia. In Fortune magazine’s survey of the World’s Most Admired Companies, the firm has been named The Most Admired Home Building Company for the past two years.

Fred oversees Toll’s capital markets and investor relations groups and its international development activities. Since joining Toll in 1993, he has raised over $7 billion from banks, equity partners and the public capital markets. He also oversees Toll Brothers’ joint venture partnering relationships with major financial and development institutions and has been financial point for Toll’s entry into the urban high-rise condo development business and the rental apartment development business.

Prior to joining Toll Brothers he was Director of Corporate Finance and Planning for the real estate arm of a Forbes 50 Private Company, Senior Vice President and a Policy Committee member of New York City’s economic development bank, and worked in community-level affordable housing and economic development in the South Bronx and Brooklyn, New York.

He is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


Ms. Carol Rabenhorst, J.D. is an internationally recognized lawyer with specialized expertise in the legal and policy framework for property rights and development of private real estate and mortgage markets. She has worked in more than 25 countries in Africa, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Southern Asia. Her work focuses on writing laws, procedures and model contracts for the mortgage and real estate markets and enforcement of such contracts; and formalizing and strengthening land rights and access to land through use of statutory, customary and religion-based tenure systems. She was Senior Legal Advisor in the International Development Center of the Urban Institute for 20 years. Following retirement from that position she has been an independent consultant for projects funded by the World Bank, EBRD, UNDP and USAID.

Prior to her work in international development, Ms. Rabenhorst was engaged in the private practice of law for 14 years. A partner in Washington, DC law firm, she specialized in real estate law and commercial and residential property development.

She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a member of the Georgetown Law Journal.