After the unexpected departure of Rick Bell last week, the American Institute of Architects' New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture have named David Burney as interim Executive Director until a long-term replacement can be found. Currently an Associate Professor of Planning and Placemaking at the Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and Board Chair for the Center for Active Design, Burney worked as an architect at Davis Brody Bond until 1990, when he embarked on a 24-year career as one of New York's key civil servants: first as director of design at the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) until 2003, and then as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) from 2004 until 2014.
“I am honored to join AIANY and the Center for Architecture as interim Executive Director,” said Burney. “I have been a member, friend and partner of the Chapter and the Center for a long time and look forward to helping these respected organizations continue their positive impact on the built environment in New York City during this transition period.”
AIANY President Tomas Rossant, AIA, added: “David Burney’s vast experience leading City agencies and his legacy of improving the quality of public projects in New York will be an invaluable asset to AIANY as we work with the current administration on issues concerning creating affordable housing and reducing carbon emissions, among others.”
AIANY also took the opportunity to shed a little light on Rick Bell's sudden and as-yet-unexplained departure. "Rick is an impassioned advocate for the design community," said Rossant and Center for Architecture President Joseph F. Tortorella, PE. "We were fortunate to have had his leadership at an important time in the Center’s and AIANY’s growth and wish him well in his future endeavors."
Rick Bell added "The fourteen years at AIANY have been a wonderful part of my life, but it is now time to move on to undertake new opportunities... I express my thanks and admiration for all of the hardworking staff and for the inspirational boards both past and present who have allowed me the privilege of being at this remarkable place."