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New Leader Takes the Helm at AIA

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

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A Chinese-born Texas CEO has been inaugurated as the 2015 president of the American Institute of Architects—the fourth woman in history to lead the organization.

“As architects, we use our creativity to serve society—to make our communities better places to live,” Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, said during inauguration ceremonies held Dec. 12 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Richter, CEO of Richter Architects in Corpus Christi, TX, succeeds Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, in representing the AIA’s 85,500-plus members.

Elizabeth Chu Richter
Photos: AIA

Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, is the AIA's 91st president.

“I’m hoping that my leadership will help bring the AIA into a more member-focused future, building greater public engagement and understanding, while also refining the Institute’s leadership structure and operation focus,” Richter said in an election announcement in June 2013.

“More than ever, the repositioned AIA will be highly valued and globally relevant in its service to society in building a better world.”

Other Officers

Other officers elected during the 2013 AIA National Convention will begin the second year of two-year terms in 2015. James Easton Rains, Jr., FAIA, and Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, each serve as vice president; James P. Grounds, AIA, as the Institute’s treasurer.

Founded in 1857 and based in Washington, D.C., the AIA is the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners.

With nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA serves as the voice of the architecture profession and provides information and advocacy for its members.

'Narrative of America'

Richter was born in the Chinese city of Nanjing but grew up in both Hong Kong and Dallas. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974 and joined Corpus Christi-based Richter Architects, formerly Kipp Richter & Associates, in 1989.

Richter and Dreiling

Richter succeeds Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, in representing AIA's 85,500 members.

Richter served as President of the Texas Society of Architects in 2007 and recently represented Texas on the AIA's National Board of Directors.

“Through our profession and our life’s work, each of us has shaped and re-shaped the ever-changing narrative that is America in both humble and spectacular ways," she said last month.

“We have created harmony where there was none. We have shown we can see what is not yet there. We have shown we have the courage to grow, to change, and to renew ourselves.”


Tagged categories: American Institute of Architects (AIA); Architects; Architecture; Personnel

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