Board of directors
Meet the people that lead our philanthropic efforts to attract, inspire, and invest in the next generation of architects.
R. Steven Lewis, FAIA
Steven Lewis is an architect and a tireless advocate for social justice and diversity within the field of architecture. He currently serves as Urban Design Principal with ZGF in Los Angeles. Previously he was Urban Design Director for the Central Region of Detroit in the City’s Planning & Development Department. He also is a Professor in Practice at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Prior to coming to Detroit, Steven was an Associate Vice President for TRC in their energy services group. He was a founding partner of the firm RAW International where he helped build a successful design practice over a 20-year period. In 2004, Steven accepted an invitation to join the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of the Chief Architect in Washington, DC, where he served a four-year term as a program manager.
Steven was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the 2006-07 academic year, where he focused on the issue of race within the profession of architecture. In December of 2010, he concluded a two-year term as President of the National Organization of Minority Architects, traveling around the U.S., and several other countries advocating for architects-of-color. Steven used his platform as president to prioritize cultivating the next generation of diverse architects and designers. In 2011, Steven launched a consulting practice – “Thinking Leadership – What we Do…Who we Are” – aimed at helping clients – particularly civic leaders – attain superior outcomes through his engagement. He was the 2016 recipient of the AIA’s esteemed Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award, and was elevated to the AIA’s College of Fellows.
More than anything, Steven is a facilitator of partnerships and alliances between groups and individuals who seek to use architecture and design to effect positive change to our world.
Bill E. Roschen, FAIA
Bill Roschen’s career manifests the new paradigm of “citizen architect” as civic leader who can engage communities in the thoughtful conversations required to advance infill and redevelopment projects that make neighborhoods sustainable, affordable, livable, and healthy. His appointment as President of the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission culminated three decades of practice. Bill opened a storefront office at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine in 1987 with his partner, Christi Van Cleve, and they immersed themselves in the community, serving on the boards of local arts, civic, and youth leadership organizations, while establishing a “place-based” urban architectural practice working on affordable housing, historic preservation and mixed-use transit-oriented development projects that are providing density, gravity and vitality to revivify Hollywood’s once magnetic downtown. It is work that has provided Bill with a critical skill set at a time when Los Angeles and the nation are turning away from suburbanization and privatization toward urbanism, collectivism and a renewed interest in and recognition of the value inherent in the public realm.
Bill holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Columbia University, with an emphasis on city planning and urban architecture, historic preservation and philosophy of aesthetics, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Arizona State University, with an emphasis on sustainable design. He trained in civic engagement leadership at CORO in Los Angeles. In 2013, Bill was honored for his eight years of city-changing leadership on the LA City Planning Commission with an AIA/LA Presidential Citation and with the American Planning Association Los Angeles and California Chapters’ Distinguished Leadership Award for Citizen Planner of the Year.
Carole Wedge, FAIA
Carole Wedge, FAIA, LEED AP, is CEO of Shepley Bulfinch, a national design firm with offices in Boston, Hartford, Houston, and Phoenix. Since 2004, she has led the firm’s evolution and growth into an innovative organization with an open and diverse culture. Throughout her career in architecture and advocacy in the wider community, Carole has sought to challenge conventions and incite organizations to become more transparent and diverse. Her dynamic and collaborative leadership has powerfully impacted cornerstone institutions—from higher education and civic organizations to the architectural industry. In 2009, she was selected as one of seven women from the Boston Women Principals Group to pilot the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, which is now in its 10th year. In 2012, Carole won the Boston Society of Architects’ Women in Design Award. Since 2017, she has served as the chair of AIA’s Large Firm Round Table, a committee of the 60 largest firms in the country. Among her many leadership positions, Carole is a member of Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, a Trustee Emeriti for Boston Architectural College, and Treasurer of the Architecture Foundation Board. She is the recipient of 2020 Edward C. Kemper Award, which is granted to a member for continued and significant service to the AIA.
Carole received her Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado and her Bachelor in Architecture from the Boston Architectural Center (BAC). She was elevated to the College of Fellows of the AIA in 2008.
Dan Kirby, FAIA
Dan Kirby, FAIA, FAICP, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, NOMA is principal and client services leader for Jacobs, a Fortune 200 company and one of the world’s largest professional and technical services firms which incorporates and award-winning global design practice. His project experience includes corporate and industrial buildings, hotels, sustainable design, smart cities, emerging technology and real estate development. Kirby was the first African-American to serve as President of the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects and was also member of the AIA Strategic Council. He is former Commission President for the Orlando Utilities Commission, was a two-term planning and zoning commission chair, and previously served as a member of the Orange County Urban Design Commission. He has been an adjunct instructor for design in the architecture program at the University of Central Florida. In addition, Kirby has the rare distinction of having been honored as a fellow in both the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has been a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Michigan.
Kimberly Dowdell, AIA
Kimberly collaborates with other members of the leadership team in HOK’s Chicago studio to develop and implement strategic business development and marketing initiatives. In addition to cultivating and maintaining relationships with clients and partners, she is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events and a mentor to HOK’s emerging leaders.
Kimberly served as the 2019-2020 National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). She won the 2020 AIA Young Architects Award honoring individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers. She was also recognized by Architectural Record’s 2020 Women in Architecture Awards program for her activism efforts.
Kimberly is a member of the Detroit Developer Roundtable and the Urban Land Institute. She initiated the concept behind Social Economic Environmental Design, an organization that she cofounded in 2005, and was a “40 Under 40” honoree in both Crain’s Chicago Business and Crain’s Detroit Business. In 2019, Kimberly delivered the 19th Annual Dunlop Lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Ken Higa, AIA
Ken Higa, AIA, IIDA, MBA, LEED AP joined Beck Architecture in 2017 and leads the Higher Education practice for the Atlanta Office. A registered architect with nearly thirty years of experience, his passion for design began with creating places for learning and has led to a career designing facilities for higher education. Equally passionate about business, professional practice and marketing, Ken has also previously held business development and marketing positions in the AEC industry and eventually earned an MBA from the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. Today, he works with institutional clients to define and achieve their goals by bridging the processes of strategic, business and physical planning.
Throughout his career, Ken has been engaged in the not-for-profit community, becoming a professional fundraiser, active volunteer and skilled board member. He is a past board member of the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), where he led the creation of the SCUP Annual Fund and the SCUP Fellows program, and is the past-chair of Georgia State University’s Panther Athletic Club, the primary fundraising arm of Georgia State Athletics. Ken continues to volunteer his time and talents with local organizations that create educational opportunities for students and have a mission to positively shape the future of education.
Ken received a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He was the designer for the improvements to the Jim Thorpe Memorial in Jim Thorpe, PA and worked with students from the Carbon County Vocational Technical School on its construction, which was dedicated in 1998.
Constance Lai, FAIA
Constance Lai, FAIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, USACE-CQM, is the Historic Preservation Manager for Grunley Construction. She provides Historic Preservation and Conservation support to both the Pre-Construction and Operations Departments. Her expertise ranges from design-build to quality control to sustainability. She has over 16 years of experience in historic preservation and has worked on the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the Washington Monument, and the U.S. Capitol. She has lectured on integrating conservation into the design and construction process, the Washington Monument Earthquake Repair project, and the contributions of Thomas Casey and Bernard Green to the Washington, DC, built environment.
She received her Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University and her Master of Science in Architectural Studies (History, Theory, and Criticism) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is an alumna of the AIADC Chapter’s Christopher Kelley Leadership Program. In 2017, she was awarded the Richard Morris Hunt Prize Scholarship, which afforded her the opportunity to spend five weeks in France visiting preservation architecture firms and visiting construction sites.
Vaughn Lewis, Assoc. AIA
Vaughn Lewis, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA is a Junior Designer at MBB Architects in New York City, and currently working on the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights at Columbia University (Holder Initiative). His project experience comprises of civic, cultural, educational and sustainable designs. Selected projects include: Trinity Church Wall Street, Gillen Brewer School, Bayard Cutting Garden Visitor’s Center, Town & Village Synagogue, Park Avenue Synagogue and St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City.
Vaughn holds a Bachelor of Architecture from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. He is a recipient of the 2019 Architects Foundation/Mc Aslan Fellowship, 2018 William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship, 2017 Palmer Hayden Travel Fellowship, 2016 National Science Foundation Grant, and the 2015 AIA/AF Diversity Scholarship. These fellowships enabled him to travel through North America, Europe, Asia and Africa to develop a better understanding of how architecture engages with different cultures and communities. With diverse academic and professional experience, his design sensibility is crafted by a complexity of issues pertaining to the reinterpretation of memory, equity and sustainability.
Sharon Liebowitz is Director of Innovation & Strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, focusing on opportunities and emerging technologies in financial services. Prior to that, she founded Meritam, a robo-advisor platform designed to bring low cost investment solutions to nonprofits and related institutions. Earlier in her career, Sharon built trading systems at large global banks including JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Deutsche Bank. Sharon earned an M.Arch from Columbia University and a BA with honors from Harvard University. She’s a committed volunteer and currently serves on the board of directors of the Center for Architecture and the Columbia Alumni Association, and is a Columbia University Senator.
Thomas Luebke, FAIA
Thomas Luebke has served as Secretary of the U. S. Commission of Fine Arts, the federal design review agency for the nation’s capital, since 2005. He is an architect with more than twenty years’ experience in design, planning, and historic preservation in both public and private sectors and was the design leader in the development of the 2009 Monumental Core Framework Plan for Washington, D.C. He is the editor of the 2013 book Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and Palace of State: The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, published in 2018.
Luebke served previously as the executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design; as City Architect for Alexandria, Virginia; and as a designer for numerous award-winning projects in architectural practice. He is a Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and graduated with a master in architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he was a teaching fellow in architectural history. He was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome in 2010. He served as president of the board of the Washington Architectural Foundation. He was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2011, and he was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture by the Institute in 2015.
Katherine Malone-France is the chief preservation officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Prior to assuming this role, Katherine served as the senior vice president for historic sites at the National Trust, leading its portfolio of 28 historic sites around the country to provide expansive and sustainable public benefit as they model exemplary preservation, collections management, and interpretation. Katherine’s tenure included the creation of a dedicated fund to support historic gardens and landscapes at National Trust Historic Sites and the successful completion of a $21 million campaign to address critical capital projects across the portfolio of sites. Her leadership has also resulted in a diverse range of collaborations with contemporary artists creating new works inspired by National Trust sites and a revision of the National Trust’s collections management policy that has been hailed as a national model for its inclusion of historic structures and landscapes.
Katherine is a graduate of Wofford College with a B.A. in History and holds a Masters in Historic Preservation from the College of Environment & Design at the University of Georgia.
James A. Walbridge, FAIA
Highly focused architect, builder, and craftsman with 30+ years in the A/E/C arena with a career that spans creative/design pursuits, business development, operations, logistics, collaboration building and community outreach. James’ architectural project experience consists of corporate, civic, hospitality, housing, education, and performing arts as a designer, project manager or principal in charge.
Currently the Business Development & Operations manager for studio951, a Division of Shive-Hattery in Lincoln, Nebraska. Previous Director for the HDR Civic Architecture Program with a focus on national / regional markets and strategies while also establishing the expansion and presence of HDR’s architectural office in Lincoln, Nebraska with a 75% project interview winning rate.
Past founder and president of Tekton Architecture, Inc. in San Francisco, an award-winning Architect-led, Design-Build Firm established in the tradition of the Master-Builder. For 22 years, Tekton provided Architecture, Design, Project Management and Construction Services for Residential, Commercial and Hospitality clients throughout the Bay Area and Wine Country.
Respected leader holding local, state, and national positions in The American Institute of Architects and the Architects Foundation, including a comprehensive history as a passionate and articulate national public speaker on numerous leadership and practice topics.