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40 Under 40 Class of 2023 winner Kimberly Dowdell inaugurated as AIA 2024 President

Women in Design+Construction

40 Under 40 Class of 2023 winner Kimberly Dowdell inaugurated as AIA 2024 President

Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, makes history as the American Institute of Architects' first Black woman to be inaugurated as AIA president and the first Millennial to hold the position.

HOK | January 25, 2024
Architect, businesswoman, 40 Under 40 winner headshot with white background
Pictured: Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 winner. Photo courtesy HOK

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the inauguration of Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, as its 100th president. Dowdell, Principal and Director of Strategic Relationships at HOK, was recently selected as one of Building Design+Construction's 40 Under 40 superstars and continues to make waves in the industry.

“Being elected as the 100th president of AIA is both an honor and responsibility that I embrace wholeheartedly,” said 2024 AIA President Kimberly Dowdell, AIA. “My journey in architecture, from my roots in Detroit, to this influential role, has deepened my conviction that design has the power to transform communities and elevate the human experience.”

HOK Principal and 40 Under 40 Winner is AIA's 100th President

Dowdell’s distinguished career spans architecture, government, teaching and real estate development. She brings to the position an impressive portfolio of leadership roles, dedicated to promoting diversity and sustainability in architecture and urban development, including her tenure as national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) 2019-2020.

Architect, businesswoman, 40 Under 40 winner headshot speaking
RELATED ARTICLE: Meet the 40 Under 40 class of 2023

“Kimberly’s inauguration marks an important milestone for the architectural profession,” said HOK Co-CEO Susan Klumpp Williams, AIA, LEED AP. “Seeing her in this significant leadership role sets an inspiring example and path for more women and people of color to achieve influential positions in architecture and design.”

Dowdell holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. Currently a principal in HOK’s Chicago studio, Dowdell has been a LEED-accredited professional since 2007 and co-founded the SEED Network in 2005. She was elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees in 2022.

“This opportunity to serve my profession beautifully aligns with my overarching mission to improve people’s lives through design, fostering a shared vision of a future built environment that nurtures progress, equity, and sustainability for all,” Dowdell added.

Dowdell joins AIA CEO & EVP Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, and AIA 2024 President-elect Evelyn Lee, FAIA, NOMA to mark the second consecutive year that AIA has all female leaders at the helm.

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