This weekend, at the AIA's national conference in Chicago, Russell A Davidson was elected the AIA's 2016 president. Davidson, who served as the AIA's Vice President in 2012-13 and president of AIA's New York State chapter in 2007, will be joined by William J Bates and Francis M Pitts as Vice presidents, and John A Padilla as AIA Secretary.
In addition to electing its next leaders, the AIA also adopted a new board structure, which will see it add a new body, the 'Strategic Council', which will inform the Board and other Institute bodies of important professional issues.
More on these developments from the AIA National Conference after the break
In his previous role as Vice President, Davidson focused on public advocacy for architects and architecture, and in accepting the presidency he once again emphasized the role that the AIA has to play in promoting the architectural profession in wider society:
"Public awareness needs to become the lens through which the AIA views all of its efforts. With a renewed focus and prioritization of the many programs now in place, the AIA can and should be more relevant to practitioners and the public. Many of our practitioners and firms, including my own, are fighting real battles every day to maintain and build value in the services we deliver, and to convince our clients to invest in quality design. The AIA can and should improve the perceived value of our profession, which will yield positive results for all architects."
The new governance structure will hopefully help in this endeavor, as it is designed to make the AIA leadership "more nimble and better able to respond to the Institute’s challenges and opportunities." The changes consist of the reduction of the AIA National Board from over 50 members to just 16, accompanied by the addition of the strategic council which will advise the Board, assembling goals and objectives, recommending public policy, reviewing operation plans and budgets, and disseminating information and insights.
The Strategic Council will be made up of up to 60 members, including 35 regional representatives, and will determine its own leadership structure.