Kimberly Dowdell elected AIA's 2024 president

Kimberly N. Dowdell

AIA's 2024 President-elect Kimberly Dowdell

Delegates at the 2022 AIA Annual Meeting elected Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, as 2023 First VP/2024 President-elect. Ms. Dowdell will be the 100th President of AIA.

Britt Lindberg, FAIA, was elected 2023-2024 AIA Secretary, and Illya Azaroff, FAIA, was elected 2023-2025 At-large Director.

AIA's 2024 President-elect Kimberly Dowdell, left, AIA's 2023-2024 Secretary Britt Lindberg, AIA's 2023-2025 At-large Director Illya Azaroff

Additionally, delegates approved three Bylaw amendments and a resolution which allows International Associate members to be eligible for Associate Emeritus membership.  That amendment to the AIA Bylaws will be presented to the delegates for approval at the 2023 Annual Meeting.

AIA President-elect

Ms. Dowdell, an AIA member since 2007, graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2006. She received a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University in 2015. She is currently Marketing Principal at HOK Architects.  

No stranger to volunteering with AIA, Ms. Dowdell has participated on the Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee from 2019-2020, the New Urban Agenda Task Force from 2019-2021, the AIA New York Nominating Committee in 2021, the AIA Chicago EVP Search Committee in 2021, and was a Young Architects Award Recipient in 2020.

Ms. Dowdell was president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) from 2019-2020. Her platform as AIA President will be ensuring there is space for minority architects at every level of AIA. She has outlined her intentions to “create access to opportunities,” “foster greater opportunities for leadership,” "build upon the legacy of long-time members,” in her #AllinforNOMA initiative.

“As the 295th living Black woman to earn an architectural license in the U.S., I am keen to help young women and people of color,” said Ms. Dowdell, who will be the first black woman president of AIA.

In addition, her platform includes initiatives such as supporting the business of design, making architecture more accessible to all, meeting our obligation to future generations regarding climate action, and navigating the future of design work with advances in technology.

For more on Ms. Dowdell’s background and platform, you can view two video speeches she made prior to her election. They are available here and here.

AIA Secretary

Ms. Lindberg, Technical Director at Gensler, is currently an At-large Director on the AIA Board. She served as president of AIA California in 2018 and was on its Board of Directors from 2013-2018.  

She  describes this is a “pivotal time” at AIA, where “urgent action, innovation, collaboration, and progress” are needed to achieve AIA’s equity and climate imperatives.

To achieve this, she has said she will focus on guiding AIA members to focus on the 2021-2015 AIA Strategic Plan to make progress on these imperatives. She has called for strengthening AIA’s pipeline and member-driven impact by propelling member voices in alignment with strategic goals. Additionally, she says she will work to increase awareness of the importance of design by embracing new technologies, research, and partners.

Ms. Lindberg received a Bachelor of Chemistry degree from Cornell University and a Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley. For more on Ms. Lindberg’s goals as AIA Secretary, check out two video speeches she made prior to her election. They are here and here.

AIA At-large Director

Mr. Azaroff, associate professor at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) and Founding Principal of +LAB architect PLLC, has a long history of volunteering with AIA, including serving as the 2021 President of AIA New York State.

Mr. Azaroff notes that architects must “be agents of change” in shaping the future of “post-COVID cities,” acting on the climate crisis, reimagining our “environments to create and sustain resilience.” He believes AIA should be harnessing its member base to actively shape policy.

“Our capacity to tackle today’s complex challenges must be linked to a strategic allocation of AIA resources, member support, and action focused on powerful solutions,” he said.

Mr. Azaroff specifically cited climate migration as a way that architects can help prepare communities for a “hotter, wetter world.” He also calls for architects to lead “new and innovative systems” that are merging and catalyzing national and global change related to “fragile, ineffective, and inequitable” systems of our cities and nations.

He received a Bachelor of Geography from the University of Nebraska and a B.Arch from Pratt Institute. For more on Mr. Azaroff’s goals as AIA At-large Director, check out two video speeches he made prior to his election. They are here and here.

Resolutions and Bylaws

Resolution Approved by the Delegates

Resolution 22-1: International Associate Emeritus Status, sponsored by AIA California and AIA Orange County: International Associate members are those individuals without architectural licenses from a U.S. licensing authority who meet a specific set of membership requirements.  The intent of the resolution is to provide  International Associate members the same privileges as AIA and Associate AIA members; that is, that provided they meet the requirements for Emeritus membership, International Associate members should be able to apply for this category of AIA membership. With the delegates’ approval of this resolution, an amendment to the Bylaws will presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting. The resolution passed with 4893 votes in favor and 36 votes against (with 12 abstentions).  

Bylaw Amendments Approved by the Delegates

Bylaws Amendment 22-A, Clarity Regarding College of Fellows: ensured clarity and consistency between the two legal entities, The College of Fellows, which is an AIA membership body, and the College of Fellows Fund., Inc. (“COF Fund”), which is a separate corporate entity and a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization distinct from the AIA. By deleting language in Sections 1.21 and 1.22 of AIA’s Bylaws, an inadvertent inconsistency will be prevented between the AIA Bylaws and the COF Fund’s bylaws. This Bylaw passed with 5132 votes in favor and 3 votes against (with 10 abstentions).  

Bylaws Amendment 22-B, Endorsements: states that AIA shall not “sponsor or endorse any enterprise whether public or private, operated for profit, and no officer, director, Strategic Council member, committee member, or employee of the Institute can approve, sponsor, or endorse any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product." AIA has evolved substantially since this language was added the Bylaws in 1935. Since then, the absolute proscriptions in Section 1.3 no longer align with how nonprofit membership associations operate, given the common practice of establishing strategic partnerships, affinity arrangements, and the like. This Bylaw passed with 3134 votes in favor and 1381 votes against (with 226 abstentions).

Bylaws Amendment 22-C, Publications: provides flexibility in materials that are provided to members, ensuring access to documents, periodicals, and literature from the Institute and from the component(s) to which they belong. This Bylaw passed with 4829 votes in favor and 282 votes against.  

Image credits

Kimberly N. Dowdell

Courtesy Kimberly N. Dowdell

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