The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP) was founded in 2013 by the Emerging Architects Committee as part of the AIA|DC Chapter. The program is in memory of Christopher Kelley, an employee of Gensler and an active member of the DC architectural community. Christopher was a recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award in 2010 and an exemplary, emerging young leader. Since its founding, the CKLDP has been established in Washington DC, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Georgia, and Houston, and strives to carry forward Christopher’s legacy by actively training and nurturing the next generation of leaders within the architectural profession.
The year-long program consists of nine individual half-day sessions attended by a competitively selected group of 16 emerging professionals from Houston. The curriculum focuses on core skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management, the art of negotiation, bringing in new clients, community leadership, industry culture, and developing one’s future within the practice.
The leadership program participants are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions. Each year, scholars from the previous year are selected to help guide the next year’s class. In this way, the program is continually evolving, allowing scholars to learn on an ongoing basis about thoughts and ideas relevant to the architectural profession today.
Special thanks to the 2023 Benefactor Sponsors who make this program possible:
- Background & Program
CKLDP – AIA DC – Visit Site
CKLDP – AIA Denver – Visit Site
CKLDP – AIA Detroit – Visit Site
CKLDP – AIA Miami – Visit Site
CKLDP – AIA Georgia – Visit Site
CKLDP – AIA Indiana – Visit Site
CKLDP – New Mexico / Albuquerque – Visit Site
The curriculum focuses on core professional skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management, working together and collaboration, the art of negotiation, client development, community leadership, industry trends, and developing your future within the practice. The selected scholars to the leadership program are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions. The program will be kicked off by a “Boot Camp” session to introduce the participants and to develop the curriculum for the year.
Sessions are typically held on the first Friday of every month, from 12:00pm – 5:00pm, September through May. Year-specific schedules are published under the “Schedule” tab. Applications for the 2024 Class will open the Summer of 2023.
Refer to the AIA Houston website for the latest application materials. You may preview the materials here.
Commitment to the Program
The program’s success is directly related to attendance by the participants and therefore attendance is mandatory. Each participant of the program will be required to sign an Agreement Form that will require a signature from one of the participant’s principals of their firm. Provided due notice to the Executive Committee, with extenuating circumstances, each scholar will be allowed one excused absence. If two sessions are missed, a fine of $50 will be sent to the participants firm. A further absence will result in an additional $50 fine and expulsion from the program.
Attendance is mandatory for all scholars at the first meeting of the group “Bootcamp” as well as the final session and closing reception.
AIA Continuing Education
It is intended that this program will have AIA CE credit made available for its participants.
Honoring Christopher Kelley
Christopher Kelley, AIA was an active member of the DC architectural community and suddenly passed away in May of 2012. He was a respected leader within the Institute as well as within Gensler’s Washington office. Through his volunteer efforts, he participated and contributed to initiatives and programs that have had a positive impact on emerging professionals at different stages of their careers. In 2010 Christopher was honored with the AIA Young Architects Award for which the jury stated, “Christopher has proven himself a young leader within and around the AIA, a real example for other young professionals.” This program is intended to continue his legacy of leadership and activism.
For more information, please contact the committee.