The American Institute of Architects made history in June with the election of Kimberly Dowdell, FAIA, as 2024 president-elect. The architect, who is marketing principal in HOK’s Chicago office, will be the first black woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1857, Engineering News-Record reports.
In her campaign for election, Dowdell proposed an “alphabet platform” consisting of advocacy for architects in practice, belonging, climate action and designing the future.
AIA hired its first black CEO, Lakisha Woods, late last year. Woods was previously the president and CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences. And at the AIA annual conference in Chicago, Barack Obama delivered the closing keynote to a crowd abuzz over the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade earlier that day. According to Archinect, the former president discussed with moderator and AIA President Dan Hart the deleterious effects of suburban development on the climate, inequity and the U.S. housing crisis, and other topics .