Full Name
Kimberly Dowdell
Job Title
2023 First Vice President
Speaker Bio
Kimberly is an architect with a passion for creating remarkableplaces where people can sustainably thrive. A native of Detroit,Kimberly grew up with an ambition to revitalize cities using design asa tool for progress. Today, she is realizing her vision as a Principalat HOK in Chicago. Kimberly was also the 2019-2020 NationalPresident of NOMA. In 2022, Kimberly was elected as the 100thNational President of AIA. She was also elected to serve on theCornell University Board of Trustees from 2022-2026. Over the last two decades, Kimberly’s educational experiencesat Cranbrook, Cornell and Harvard, coupled with her work asa young professional in Washington, D.C. and New York, haveshaped her early career toward a goal of facilitating transformativeurban development projects. In graduate school, Kimberly was inthe inaugural class of Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellows atHarvard’s Center for Public Leadership. As a mid-career professional, Kimberly returned to her hometown in2015 to support urban revitalization efforts. In service of broadeningher impact in 2019, she took on a leadership role with internationallyacclaimed architecture, engineering and planning firm, HOK, whereshe spent several of her formative years in the New York studiofrom 2008 - 2011. In Chicago, Kimberly serves as Board Chair forIngenuity and on the board for the Chicago Central Area Committee(CCAC), as well as the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB).Kimberly is also a Founding Member of Chief Chicago. Nationally,she serves on the board for the Architects Foundation and as amember of the NOMA Council. In 2008, Kimberly established the annual community service projectfor the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), whichhas now hosted projects in over a dozen cities throughout the U.S. In 2019, she became the first Millennial President of NOMA and morethan doubled the organization's membership count over two years. In 2005, Kimberly co-founded SEED (Social EconomicEnvironmental Design) to identify, measure and address “TripleBottom Line” issues during the design and development process.Kimberly’s contributions to public service were honored withher recognition as one of the top 100 national leaders in PublicInterest Design, 2012, by PublicInterestDesign.org (now namedImpactDesignHub.org). Her career was also profiled in the 3rdEdition of Dr. Lee Waldrep’s acclaimed book, Becoming AnArchitect: A Guide to Careers in Design, 2014. Kimberly’s overarching professional mission is to improve people’slives, by design.
Kimberly Dowdell