Director, Honors & Awards

American Institute of Architects

Job Description

This is a professional management position in which the primary function is the successful direction, strategic planning, management, and fulfillment of all AIA national awards programs which include the Honors Program (Gold Medal, Architecture Firm, Topaz Medallion), Membership Honors programs (Fellowship, Honorary Fellowship and Honorary Membership), Institute Honors for Professional and Collaborative Achievement (Thomas Jefferson, Associates, Collaborative Achievement, Kemper and Whitney Young) and Young Architects.  Additionally, the position provides oversight of the Institute Honors programs (Architecture, Interior Architecture, Regional and Urban Design and Twenty-five Year award), co-sponsored awards (AIA Housing, AIA/HUD Secretary’s Awards, AIA/ALA Library Building Awards) and Knowledge Community awards programs. The responsibilities include providing the tactical leadership for the Honors and Awards program with special emphasis on the events and activities at convention and beyond, and working with the General Counsel’s Office and the Institute Secretary in directing and recommending policy changes, procedural and policy issues; and administering the Honors Program and Membership Honors jury meetings.  


Job Duties:

  • Develop consistent long term growth strategies that continue to create stronger, more significant engagement with our members, and greater recognition for award recipients while keeping the programs relevant and current with the changes in the profession.

  • Lead administration of the Honors Program and Membership Honors jury meetings and the Honors and Awards events/activities at convention.

  • Serve as counsel to Institute leadership on issues related to the Honors and Awards and serve as advisor to both the CEO and President on innovative approaches to the programs.

  • Direct and recommend policy changes, procedural and policy issues regarding Honors and Awards in coordination with the AIA’s General Counsel and Institute Secretary.

  • Production of tribute videos for our top honors at the General Sessions during the AIA Convention

  • Represent the AIA with Honors and Awards recipients, their families and with volunteer leadership during Honors and Awards season, maintaining trust in the program and ensuring continuity of experience.

  • Prepare annual budget for the Honors and Awards Department.

  • Coordinate and approve annual calendar for submission deadlines and jury meetings.

  • In tandem with the Awards Task Group, Components, Honors and Awards staff, and the Institute Secretary, make recommendations for jury members for all awards programs. Advise the jury chairs of their role in the jury process and establish procedures for the jury meetings.

  • Review and approve the Call for Entries for all awards programs to be distributed to and/or accessed by all member firms, and oversee marketing efforts including advertisements in Architect magazine and investigate other opportunities for additional promotion of the awards programs.

  • Oversight of all jury meetings for the Honors, Membership Honors, and Institute Honors programs, as well as the Co-sponsored programs. This includes all follow-up necessary to promote the recipients, including recording and editing jury comments for publication in major trade press, working with media relations in promotion of the recipients, and planning and implementation of all the logistics for the convention.


  • Oversee the electronic submission process for the awards programs.

  • Once recommendations are made for the final candidates for the Firm Award and Gold Medal, work with the candidates for their presentations to the Board. Once final selections are made, coordinate all logistics related to the convention.

  • Evaluate marketing and promotion ideas to determine optimum success for the Honors and Awards programs. This includes internal and external opportunities.


  • Develop long term strategies that keep the Fellowship program current with the changes in the profession and, more importantly, advancing the profession.

  • Coordinate with the Executive Director of the College of Fellows for the execution of the Investiture ceremony. Write “new fellows” portion of the script for the investiture.


  • Conduct individual debriefing/feedback sessions with unsuccessful Fellows candidates and/or sponsors and provide assistance to components via Demystifying Fellowship seminars at the AIA Conference and as requested.


  • Work cooperatively with other departments in the promotion of all Institute awards programs; promote greater public awareness of contributions to the field of architecture.


  • Serve as staff liaison to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on all issues related to awards. Responsible for preparing Board and Executive Committee agenda materials as related to the Honors and Awards program.


  • Work with all representative groups in keeping award programs current with the changes in the profession. This includes everyone from our more tenured members, our Fellows, to the Young Architects.
Washington, DC
Due Date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Posted by Mary.Fichtner on January 26, 2018 - 8:13pm