June 2024 Strategic Council Report

July 3, 2024

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Report from the Strategic Council


Jessica O’Donnell, AIA, At-Large Representative, Strategic Councilor
Verity Frizzell, FAIA, Strategic Councilor, New Jersey


The AIA Strategic Council advances the architectural profession by informing the AIA Board and other Institute bodies
about important professional issues, opportunities, and threats. The Council has an outward and forward-focused vision with an
emphasis on long-term goals and outcomes.

What Does the Strategic Council Do? To learn more about the role and activities of the Strategic Council, click HERE.

From the Councilors

Jessica O’Donnell, AIA:
The Value of Architecture ‘future-focused’ subgroup has been gathering data to help chart the future of our profession. It was exciting to engage with many folks at AIA24 and we hope others fill out our survey to share their perspective as well.
We will transition to synthesis and analysis of this survey data in early July as we prepare our report to the AIA Board in mid-August. We look forward to sharing our preliminary findings with everyone!

Verity Frizzell, FAIA:
The Design AI subgroup has been hearing from various experts in the field of AI regarding such topics as ethics, data sharing, and use of AI for code checking. The focus of our group is shifting to providing experts for the Board to create a panel of consultants to guide the institute forward in bringing this valuable tool to our members.

Council News

The Council had a busy and productive time at AIA24. On Wednesday, during AIA24, we hosted the Council Assembly, where we reviewed recent Council operations, future deadlines, elections, and connection meetings. We emphasized the role of the Councilor as a vital communicator between constituents and the Board. Therefore, we encourage Chapters to share feedback with their local Councilors. This feedback will be shared with the Board in the Council's Monthly report. 

Councilors attended the AIA Annual meeting as at-large delegates and participated in voting on bylaws amendments and resolutions. This year the Council was the sponsor of a resolution to promote health and wellbeing in the profession and we were very pleased the resolution passed. Thank you to Bill Hercules, FAIA and Rex Cabaniss, AIA and the entire Wellbeing study group for their work on this
important effort. 

Additionally, on Friday, we hosted a Council Meetup, where study groups engaged with members, gathered feedback through surveys, and shared the progress of their studies, fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment. The study groups plan to continue collecting data through social media. Please join us in this effort by sharing your thoughts on different topics.

Graciela Carrillo, AIA 2024 Moderator + Josh Flowers, FAIA 2024 Vice Moderator
Special thanks to our Steering Committee members who help guide our work and inform our decision-making process: Brad
Benjamin, AIA (Best Practices Committee Chair), Alyssa Murphy, AIA (Communications Chair), Bruce Herrington, AIA (Elections

Institute News


The most debated issue was four motions to change AIA Bylaws related to membership. Delegates rejected motions that would have incorporated a new definition of Associate AIA status and expanded Associate AIA statuses to include senior associate, and international members, as well as modernizing benefits for allied members, honorary fellows and honorary members. Members also rejected a motion to
extend AIA membership to internationally licensed architectural professionals and to amend bylaws to expand AIA membership to academic and student members.

Delegates voted to accept a motion with amendments to address the termination of membership for misconduct, provide clarity on the At-Large Director appointments to the Board of Directors, and accept governance edits.

The outcome of the accredited delegates voted on the four proposed resolutions is as follows:  
 Motion to accept Resolution 1: AIA Health and Wellbeing Policy with amendments
 Motion to accept Resolution 2: Inclusion of Additional Underrepresented Groups within the AIA Strategic Plan 2021-2025’s Equity Statement. 
 Motion to accept Resolution 3: Governing Body Amendment with amendments
 Motion to reject Resolution 4: Providing Virtual Attendance Options for AIA Annual Conference and Women’s Leadership Summit. 


Illya Azaroff, FAIA, has been elected to The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Board of Directors, as 2025 President-elect/2026 President. Azaroff, is an architect, geographer, and professor at the New York City of Technology. The founding principal of +LAB Architect, a firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles, his mission is to amplify the voices and visibility of underserved communities globally.

His commitment extends to governing the institute, where he has led at every level, from founding committees to serving as the 2021 AIA New York State president. Having chaired the COP28 delegation to Dubai, he currently holds the position of Chair of CCADE – Committee on Climate Action and Design Excellence and serves as an at large director on the AIA National Board. 

2025-2026 SECRETARY
Joshua Flowers, FAIA was elected as the 2025-2026 Secretary Flowers is a registered architect and licensed attorney and is Legal Counsel for Gresham Smith. Flowers has served in leadership roles across levels of the AIA. He is the 2024 Vice Moderator of the AIA Strategic Council where he leads AIA’s efforts to study issues impacting the future of the profession. Flowers was president of AIA Tennessee in 2019
and AIA Memphis in 2012. 

Matthew Toddy, AIA was elected as 2025-2027 At-Large Director. Toddy is a Principal at Elevation Studio. He served on the 2024 AIA National Conference Advisory Group, the 2020-2021 Young Architects Forum Advisory Committee, the 2020 Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee and was the 2023 Young Architects Forum Chair. 


October 8-10, 2024 Women’s Leadership Summit in Chicago

For more events, visit the AIA events page at: https://www.aia.org/community/events.

We value input! If you have questions or ideas for the Strategic Council, reach out to us at StrategicCouncil@aia.org.
To learn more about the work of the Strategic Council, please visit the Strategic Council webpage at AIA.org.

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