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      Press Advisory: State Department to Roll Out new Embassy Design Excellence Initiative April 26

      Contact: John Schneidawind

      For immediate release:
      Washington, D.C. – April 22, 2011 –
      The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) will roll out its new Design Excellence initiative at the Industry Advisory Panel meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. 

      With assistance and input from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), OBO is adopting Design Excellence as both a tool and a solution to advance a new generation of secure, high-performance, and sustainable diplomatic and consular facilities that support the conduct of American diplomacy. 

      In 2008, OBO commissioned the AIA to create a task force to examine embassy design. In response, the AIA formed the 21st-Century Embassy Task Force, made up of leading architects, engineers, landscape architects, ambassadors, diplomats, Foreign Service personnel, architectural historians, public art experts, and key members of OBO.

      The Task Force, headed by Barbara A. Nadel, FAIA, released a report, Design for Diplomacy, in 2009, which made a series of recommendations aimed at improving the way embassies are designed and to ensure the integration of all functional goals including safety and security, aesthetics, energy efficiency, sustainability, flexibility of functions and work spaces, accessibility, historic preservation and user productivity.

      These recommendations informed the new program, which will enhance OBO’s ability to provide outstanding facilities that represent American values and the best of American talent, innovation and technology in these areas, while providing the best value for the American taxpayer. 

      More detailed program information will be provided on Monday, April 25, but embargoed until the program roll out on Tuesday, April 26. 

      The meeting is open to the public and the press.  Time will be allotted for press questions following the morning session. 

      Please contact Christy Foushee at or 703-875-4131 with any questions or special requests.

      Meeting Logistics:
      U.S. Department of State, Loy Henderson Auditorium, 2201 C Street N.W., Washington, D.C. (entrance on 23rd Street)
      Tuesday, April 26
      Morning Session 9:30 – 12:00 and Press Questions: 12:00 – 12:15
      Registration Required:
      Please RSVP to  or 703-875-4131

      About The American Institute of Architects
      For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit


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