It has been one hundred and sixty years of building America for the American Institute of Architects. Started in 1857 by a group of thirteen architects, the AIA has made big strides seeing its membership roll read more than ninety thousand. With their headquarters in Washington, DC, the American Institute of Architects now has more than two hundred and fifty chapters around the globe.

At its inception, the AIA was meant to promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members. This was especially important considering that prior to its formation there were no known schools of architecture. Neither were there any laws governing the profession. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry could easily claim to be an architect, and indeed many people had done so. The aims of the AIA has since been expanded to suit the changing time and better reflect the working environment of its current members.

In 2010, the American Institute named Robert Ivy the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization. Close watchers of the construction industry agree the appointment was a recognition of the advocacy efforts of one of the organization’s strongest members. Before being appointed as the CEO, Robert Ivy served as the Editor in Chief of the Architectural Record, a position in which he had served since 1996. Besides that, Robert Ivy also served as the Vice President and Editorial Director for McGraw-Hill Construction.


Under Robert Ivy’s leadership, the American Institute of Architects is seeking to reposition itself to better serve its members and society at large. The organization now hopes to be more proactive, more influential, and more responsive to its environment. To meet this new objective, the AIA is now directing more resources towards preparing its members better respond to emerging issues in society. With key initiatives led by Robert Ivy, the American Institute of Architects has focused on turning the attention to issues such as responsiveness of architectural designs to climate change policies, the impact of designs on public health, and sustainability in the construction industry.

Internally, the American Institute of Architects has seen major administration improvements as Robert Ivy moves to make crucial adjustments meant to improve its efficiency. The AIA has since streamlined its governance structure to improve decision making. It has also invested in a state of the art technological infrastructure to streamline operations. It has also has managed to launch a major award-winning public awareness campaign. The awareness campaign is aimed at enhancing the public understanding of the changing needs of the profession in a modern society.

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