Ralph Lerner, former Dean of the schools of architecture of Princeton University (1989-2006) and of the University of Hong Kong (2006-2011), studied architecture at The Cooper Union and Harvard. After several years of training with Haus-Rücker Architects, Richard Meier and Ulrich Franzen, Lerner opened his own office in 1984, drawing international attention after winning the competition for the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi (only part of which was completed). His recent work includes the prized Louise Nevelson Plaza (with Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects) in Manhattan and a building at the Princeton Charter School in New Jersey. His greatest contribution, however, was in the academic field, turning Princeton into the main school of architecture in the United States thanks to a skillful recruiting policy. Prestigious architects like Elizabeth Diller (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Jesser Reiser (Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture), or Paul Lewis (Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis), among other prominent academicians, historians and theorists, were hired thanks to him.