April Drake is a Senior Project Architect with HDR in Arlington, VA focusing on complex government facilities. April received her B. Arch from Hampton University. With 15+ years of education, government and commercial project experience, April leads multidisciplinary teams through all stages of design. She is a skilled facilitator and well-known for her dedication to both collaboration and communication. April is passionate about mentorship and promoting the growth of women and minorities in architecture and allied fields, especially offering guidance from graduation to licensure. April created events to introduce young girls to Architecture. In 2015, she started a STEM event for local Girl Scout troops. Through a series of collaborative and hands-on activities, girls explore architecture and earn a STEM patch. In November 2018, April was a Keynote speaker for the AIA Leadership Institute. Speaking about the “Missing Middle”, she highlighted the challenges faced by mid-career professionals. In 2019 she was an AIA VA Emerging Professional Awardee. She is one of the first 400 African American licensed women in the US. Since 2014, she has volunteered on NCARB task forces developing the new ARE 5.0 Exam. April now serves as the 2023 President of the AIA Northern Virginia (NOVA) Chapter.