I was so thrilled to have attended the inaugural of friend and colleague Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, as the 2014 American Institute of Architects (AIA) national president this past Friday at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Dreiling is the 90th president in the AIA’s 156-year history, and is the third woman to hold the position.
Dreiling said: “During my term as president, I want to look towards the future of our profession and society in general. We need to stimulate research to benefit the design and construction industry, emphasize a culture in firms that nurtures emerging professionals and promotes diversity and inclusiveness for under-represented groups, and advance the profession in the eyes of the public. Ultimately, our efforts will be focused on bringing a shift to our own professional culture–the way we think, act and behave to transform the way that our culture regards architects and architecture.”
Dreiling is the executive director of the Virginia Center for Architecture based in Richmond, and had lead the Roanoke-based firms The Plum Studio and The Dreiling Partnership Architects. She has previously served as AIA secretary (2011-12), national vice president (2000), and national board member (1997-98 and 2000). From 2000 to 2009, Dreiling held several positions at the AIA national office, including managing director of component relations, vice president of strategic initiatives and relationships, and team vice president, AIA Community.
As many of you know, I am pleased to have been appointed by Dreiling to be the chairman of the AIA Convention Advisory Committee for the 2014 AIA National Convention, to be held in Chicago, June 26-28, 2014. Look for announcements in early 2014 regarding the convention theme and keynote speaker highlights! It’s sure to be an exciting year for the profession!