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Frances Halsband, FAIA, elected Chancellor of the AIA College of Fellows

Frances Halsband, FAIA, elected Chancellor of the AIA College of Fellows

The NYC-based architect recently led the movement to amend the AIA Code of Ethics.

By PERKINS EASTMAN | December 23, 2022
Frances Halsband, FAIA. © Valery Petrova/CEO Portrait Photography | Courtesy Perkins Eastman
Frances Halsband, FAIA. © Valery Petrova/CEO Portrait Photography | Courtesy Perkins Eastman

Frances Halsband, FAIA, has been named the 61st Chancellor of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. A groundbreaking designer with a passion for equity and inclusion, Halsband accepted the role during an inauguration ceremony on December 9, 2022, at the American Institute of Architects headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Members of the College of Fellows elected Halsband Chancellor based on her leadership and service to the AIA, the profession of architecture, and her community.

“I am delighted to be working with the AIA at this moment of change and opportunity," said Halsband. "This is a time to welcome so many new voices to the profession,”


With five decades of professional experience, Halsband is a titan in the architecture industry, paving the way for many others coming up in the profession. She founded Kliment Halsband Architects, now Kliment Halsband Architects—A Perkins Eastman Studio, with her husband Robert Kliment in New York in 1972.

At KHA, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, she developed an award-winning portfolio of university projects and campus plans.

Halsband, now a principal in the New York studio of Perkins Eastman, has been a champion of mentorship and inclusion and has provided a unique perspective on the many voices that shape planning and design today. She has served as lead designer on projects and plans for more than 50 college campuses, and her work has been lauded with several prestigious awards, including the national AIA Firm Award and the Medal of Honor from AIA New York.


Throughout her career, Halsband has made waves in the notoriously male-dominated industry. She was the first woman president of the Architectural League of New York from 1985 to 1989, the first woman dean at Pratt Institute from 1991 to 1994, and the first woman president of AIA New York in 1991.

In 2018, Halsband led a successful movement to get the AIA to amend the Code of Ethics to prevent harassment and discrimination and support equity. Thanks to her efforts, the code now states that “members shall not engage in harassment or discrimination in their professional activities on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.”


Halsband is a board member of the Architectural League of New York and is on the Dean’s Council of New York University’s School of Global Public Health. In the past, she served as the president of the Architectural League of New York and as commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

She earned a BA from Swarthmore College, a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Design from the NewSchool of Architecture & Design. Halsband is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Perkins Eastman is the only firm with two Chancellors of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects; both are women. Betsey Olenick Dougherty, FAIA, was the 42nd Chancellor, in 2004, and Frances Halsband is now the 61st Chancellor.


Perkins Eastman is a global design firm founded on the belief that design can have a direct and positive impact on people’s lives. The firm’s award-winning practice draws on its more than 1,150 professionals networked across 24 studios worldwide.

By keeping the user’s needs foremost in the design process, the firm enhances the human experience across the spectrum of the built environment. For more information, visit www.perkinseastman.com.


Kliment Halsband Architects, founded by Robert M. Kliment and Frances Halsband in New York City in 1972, is a diverse group of architects committed to the idea that good architecture imparts dignity to organizational mission and individual endeavor. The firm transforms buildings and sites with a measured approach that engages the past and welcomes the future.

KHA advocates for sustainability and accessibility for all, but values most a project’s enduring usefulness: beauty, intelligibility to the people who use it, and the ability to adapt to change.

The firm has received the AIA Firm Award, the AIA New York City Medal of Honor, and more than 150 awards for design excellence. For more information, visit www.kliment-halsband.com.


© Valery Petrova/CEO Portrait Photography | Courtesy Perkins Eastman

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