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Dowdell Elected AIA’s 2024 President

Kimberly Dowdell
Kimberly Dowdell
CHICAGO, IL — Delegates at the 2022 AIA Annual Meeting elected HOK’s Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, as 2023 First Vice President/2024 President-elect.

As the 100th AIA president, Dowdell will be the first Black woman and first Millennial president.

In addition to her role as Marketing Principal in HOK’s Chicago office, Dowdell is a Co-Chair of the firm’s Diversity Advisory Council and was cofounder of its social responsibility arm: HOK Impact. She was President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) from 2019-2020 and is a current member of the board.

“I entered this race for AIA President with strong encouragement from people of various backgrounds who I respect and admire,” Dowdell said. “This win is for them. I entered this race to represent those who have historically felt underrepresented. This win is for them. I entered this race to help build a better profession for future generations of architects representing the full spectrum of humanity. This win is for them. I entered this race in an effort to help build a better and more sustainable world for all of us. This win is for you.”

“Kimberly is the right person at the right time to serve as AIA President,” said Riccardo Mascia, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, HOK’s Managing Principal in Chicago. “Her whole life has prepared her for this. I have no doubt that she’ll lead the AIA’s membership and our entire profession toward a more inclusive, impactful future.”

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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.

No stranger to volunteering with AIA, 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.

Dowdell's 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,” Dowdell said.

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

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