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Leadership Development

AIA leadership development programs—in tandem with AIA components across the country—help shape the minds of architects of all experience levels.



The Leadership Institute brings together new and veteran leaders of the architecture industry to advance their skills in a one-day, interactive learning experience.

Since 2015, the Leadership Institute has served the architecture industry as a one-day, multi-location educational event designed to connect many diverse leaders and emerging professionals in a national discussion.

Through the Leadership Institute, new and veteran leaders together examine leadership, identify strengths and values, enhance their skills, and explore how the profession can better engage and support the next generation of leaders. 

Program goals

  • Produce a leadership development culture

  • Prepare veteran and next generation leaders

  • Promote leadership in community engagement

  • Proliferate equity, diversity, and inclusion through leadership

For more information about The AIA Leadership Institute >


The mission of the AIA Center for Civic Leadership is to advance leadership among architects to promote livable, healthy, sustainable, and quality-designed environments for future generations through community participation and advocacy. 

In coordination with the CCL Mission Statement, the goal of the CCL is to focus on the three main aspects identified for architects to become more involved as leaders – 

1) the development of a Leadership Institute, 
2) identification, recognition, and promotion of Citizen Architects, and 
3) the evaluation, creation, and maintenance of Leadership Resources. 

Although CCL volunteer members are instrumental in the development of all three of these aspects of leadership, AIA staff will be critical to maintaining consistent coordination of CCL programs, database assistance, and the assurance that AIA members receive a cohesive message about architects as leaders in their professional, community, or political spheres.

Follow @AIA_Advocacy Architect on Twitter. Join CCL by adding it to your Account.

For more information about The Center for Civic Leadership >


The term “Citizen Architect” is a title informally bestowed on AIA members, given with great pride and representative of a call to action for Architects to take greater role in the civic advocacy of their communities. As defined in 2008 by the AIA National Board of Directors, the Citizen Architect:

  • uses his/her insights, talents, training, and experience to contribute meaningfully, beyond self, to the improvement of the community and human condition

  • stays informed on local, state, and federal issues, and makes time for service to the community

  • advocates for higher living standards, the creation of a sustainable environment, quality of life, and the greater good

  • seeks to advocate for the broader purposes of architecture through civic activism, by gaining appointment to boards and commissions, and through elective office at all levels of government.

The Handbook

The “Citizen Architect Handbook” offers insight into the important role architects play in advancing public policy and methods that encourage greater civic engagement by architects. Inspired by the work of AIA components across the country, the handbook features examples for establishing a local Citizen Architect committee, and strategies for engaging at a local, state, and national level. It also discusses pro bono work and the growing public architecture movement.