Name: Michael Arad
Family: Married with two children
Known for: Arad is an Israeli-American architect who is best known for his work designing the World Trade Center Memorial.
About him: Michael Arad was born in 1969 in London, England, when his father, a former Israeli ambassador to to the U.S. and Mexico, was on a diplomatic mission. His family then moved to Jerusalem, where Arad grew up. After he completed his schooling, he served in the Israel Defense Forces in a Golani Brigade commando unit.
Arad then moved to the U.S., where he attended Dartmouth College and then went on to earn a master's degree from Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Architecture. He moved to New York City, and held jobs at several different architecture firms.
In 2004, Arad's design was chosen for the World Trade Center Memorial, beating out more than 5,000 competitors. His design, Reflecting Absence, features a pair of pools set 30 feet deep in the "footprints" of the downed towers, with cascading waterfalls surrounded by the names of the dead. There was a dedication ceremony for the memorial on Sept. 11, 2011, and the memorial officially opened the next day.
Today, Arad works for Handel Architects, and lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.
From the jury who selected his design for World Trade Center Memorial: "Reflecting Absence has made the voids left by the destruction the primary symbols of our loss. It is a memorial that expressed both the incalculable loss of life and its consoling renewal, a place where all of us come together to remember from generation to generation."