Executive Director

AIA San Francisco

July 11, 2019

Position Available Immediately

The San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASF) and the Center for Architecture and Design (Center) are seeking a highly engaged, dynamic individual with an interest in architecture to help the AIASF and Center pursue dual missions of “enhancing the quality of life in the Bay Area by promoting excellence in architecture, design and the built environment”, and “creating positive change in communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area by offering public programs that encourage dialogue about the design and build industry both locally and internationally.'' In the role of Executive Director, this person will serve as an advocate of the profession and design, and of the AIA locally, state-wide, and nationally.

The AIASF is in a period of strategic visioning and has ambitious plans for organizational growth, including the expansion of its member services and programs.  Earlier in 2019, the AIASF established a strategic plan for 2020-2022, consisting of four primary goals to advance the mission: Collaborate; Advocate; Advance; and, Lead.  Similarly, the Center has tremendous potential for expanded public programming and promotion of design in the public sphere.  Both organizations are seeking new shared office space as the lease in the current office ends in May 2021 and needs to be negotiated by August 2020.

Further, in addition to regular local and regional programming, in both 2023 and 2030, the AIASF will be the host chapter for the national AIA Conference on Architecture.  The ED, staff, and representatives from the Board of Directors will lead the coordination with the AIA National Staff for San Francisco to host the national conference, which draws over 20,000 members annually to the sessions, expo, and tours. 


The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a tripartite professional membership organization for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners, comprised of local, state and national components. The AIA San Francisco (AIASF) is a local chapter component member of the national organization, the AIA, and of the AIA California, the state component. Each component is incorporated as a 501(c)6 organization. The AIA is headquartered in Washington DC and is comprised of more than 94,000 members in more than 200 components or chapters, and AIA California is headquartered in Sacramento, California.  Chartered in 1882, and originally established in 1857, the AIASF is amongst the oldest and largest chapters of the AIA and represents more than 2,300 members in San Francisco and Marin Counties. Headquartered in the historic Hallidie building—one of the world's first glass curtain-wall buildings, designed by Willis Polk and 4 completed in 1917—AIA San Francisco is the Bay Area’s premier destination for architecture and design.

As a resource for our members and the general public, AIASF is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the Bay Area by promoting excellence in architecture, design and the built environment.

Each month AlA San Francisco offers professional development and networking opportunities as well as public forums, tours, lectures, and gallery exhibitions that provide architects and design enthusiasts with many opportunities to explore the local built environment. With over 50 meetings and programs each month, AlA SF is host to over 2,000 monthly attendees. Our annual Architecture and the City festival celebrates the richness and diversity of our local design community with programs throughout the city every September. The festival is widely seen as a national model, drawing as many as 20,000 people to over 50 events.

For more information, visit: www.aiasf.org/


The Center for Architecture + Design enhances public appreciation for architecture and design, both locally and internationally, through exhibitions, lectures, tours, films, and other programs that reveal the richness of the design arts.  Founded in 2005, the Center for Architecture + Design, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a collaborative environment where design organizations and affiliates share not only space but ideas.  The Center for Architecture + Design is a co-presenter with AIA San Francisco for the annual Architecture and the City festival and San Francisco Living: Home Tours program.

Additionally, the Center offers a variety of exhibitions, lectures, walking tours, films and other programs that reveal the richness of the world of architecture and design.

For more information, visit https://www.centersf.org

POSITION TITLE: Executive Director
REPORTS TO: Executive Committee of the Board of Directors

FLSA Category: Full-Time Exempt position, with benefits

The Executive Director (ED) serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter (AIASF), a 501(c)6, and the Center for Architecture and Design (Center), a 501(c)3.  The ED plans, organizes, directs, and coordinates staff, programs, and activities to ensure that the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives are being achieved and member needs are being satisfied. The ED is responsible for the effective conduct of the affairs, and recommends and participates in the formulation of new policies and makes decisions within existing policies as approved by the Board of Directors. The time associated with each role is approximately allocated 80% AIASF and 20% Center.

The ED establishes and maintains both internal and external relationships of AIASF and the Center. Further, through effective management, leadership, planning, and programming, the ED achieves economical and productive performance and constructive growth of both associations. The ED looks for program opportunities to increase and expand the relevancy of the AIASF and the Center for members and the public.

Education. Master’s degree in Business Administration, Management or a related discipline, and CAE certification preferred. Minimum qualifications: Four (4) year degree in Business Administration, Management, or a related discipline. Equivalent work experience in building industry or other design-related fields will be considered.

Working Conditions. Work is performed in an office setting, and requires daily computer use. Requires travel to national, regional and local events and conferences as a representative of the Chapter and Center, and occasional evening and/or weekend activities (including public meetings, presentations, and conferences).

Essential Job Functions And Core Competencies
Familiarity with the Profession, the Design and Construction Industry, and the AIA. The ED must have, or develop, empathy for the profession of architecture. Knowledge of the design and construction industry is an important asset, as is sensitivity to, and a strong interest in, architecture and its role in society and the environment.

Leadership. The ED must have excellent communication and leadership skills, the ability to motivate volunteers and staff, and proven skills in delegation. The ED must be able to communicate clearly both as a public speaker and as a writer.  The ED must handle issues in a professional manner and to attain consensus whenever possible. The ED must contribute to the on-going development and furthering of the vision and mission of the AIASF and the Center, locally, regionally and nationally.

Fundraising and Relationship Management. The ED must have or develop relationships within the building industry for annual fundraising and major gifts. The ED must demonstrate a proven record of fundraising success with individual and corporate sponsors through unique partnerships as well as experience managing a membership program and special events. Work with the Sponsorships + Partnerships Manager to build and maintain non-dues based revenue opportunities, as well as pursue grant opportunities as appropriate for qualified programs and services.

Governmental Relations/Advocacy. The ED must have a working knowledge of local County and City Governments with an understanding of how their policies impact the membership. Experience working with local agencies and government is highly desirable. The ED may personally represent the AIASF at meetings of local government agencies, or, from time to time, arrange for members of the AIASF to attend and participate in such meetings. The ED may also develop and maintain relationships with elected officials and municipal staff members in San Francisco. Substantive knowledge of the City and County of San Francisco is highly desirable.

Public Relations and Community Outreach. The ED must have a working knowledge of the media; public relations, and public affairs. As the Chief Executive Officer, the ED engages in considerable community outreach. The ED routinely represents the AIASF/Center at community meetings and keeps the community informed of AIASF programs and activities. The ED also looks for opportunities to engage with local and regional architecture schools and design programs. The ED works with the Marketing + Communications Manager to maintain communications and promote positive relationships with the media, membership and outside organizations.

Program Development and Implementation. The ED recognizes that programming is the main vehicle for member relationship and engagement, as well as public outreach for both the AIASF and the Center. The ED must understand current and emerging issues facing the AIASF, its membership, and local communities, and take ideas for programs and events from the conceptual stages to completion. The ED works with the Public Programs and Member Programs Managers to implement those ideas, in consultation with the Board of Directors. The ED further updates and/or overhauls programs that have lost relevance and replaces with more current, compelling experiences. 

Administrative. The ED must have experience and demonstrated competence in the management and administration of organizations, planning, financial management, and personnel management.  The ED fosters a collaborative, productive work environment amongst the organization staff.  Familiarity with the management of nonprofit organizations and/or association management is considered an asset.

Professional Development. The ED is expected to continuously develop their professional skills and core competencies, including staying current and attuned to association management trends. The ED shall also encourage the professional development of administrative personnel and provide regular performance evaluations of all staff. ED performance in core competencies and development of staff is reviewed annually by the AIASF Executive Committee, with additional input from the Center Board of Directors.

Position Relationships
Membership. The ED establishes and maintains a close working relationship with the more than 2,300 members of the AIASF. In addition to internal responsibilities to the AIASF, the ED also works closely with volunteer members and directors at the California state level, in other states, and at the national level. The ED cultivates board and member involvement in issues and opportunities beyond the AIASF and Center, and assists with board member recruitment for both organizations.

Governing Structure. As the Chief Executive Officer, the ED interacts with the Board of Directors on a regular basis and works at the general direction of the Board of Directors, which includes industry professionals, members, and public directors. The AIASF Board of Directors is led by a six-person Executive Committee, comprised of the President, President-Elect/Vice President, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Secretary, and Assistant Secretary. ED leads the communication with the Board of Directors of both the AIASF and the Center.  The ED assists in the development and implementation of the AIASF’s strategic plan by the Board.

Staff Management. Must have the ability to lead and manage a staff team of up to 10, with some staff being manager level positions.  The ED is responsible for the employment, direction, evaluation, and management of staff and consultants.  As the leader of the staff, the ED must also develop and maintain appropriate HR policies and be able to resolve internal HR issues when possible or consult with HR professionals to assist in resolving concerns amongst and between staff.  The ED must develop, support, and empower an effective team, building strong morale and collaboration between staff members and volunteers through dependable leadership and integrity as well as foster a climate which attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality individuals.

Related Organizations. The ED must facilitate effective dialogue among AIA National staff, AIA California (regional component) staff and AIASF representatives to AIA California.  The AIASF is also a member of caucus groups within the AIA, e.g. “Big Sibs”.  The ED is a primary point of contact with the members and representatives of components and caucus groups. The ED is a member of the Council 3 of Architectural Component Executives (CACE), which is comprised of the chief staff executives of the AIA components in the nation. As a member of CACE, the ED represents the AIASF Chapter.

Allied Organizations. The ED establishes, and maintains, coalitions and relationships with allied members and organizations, including the contractors, engineers, building officials and other public and private groups concerned with the design and construction industry and the environment.

Consultants. The ED works regularly with consultants for legal, human resources, tax, and accounting, etc. services in maintaining or determining contract terms, fees, and adjustments to services.

Vendors. The ED works routinely with vendors as sponsors of local programs and activities. As appropriate, the ED manages and directs staff in maintaining or determining contract terms, fees, and adjustments to services.

Position Responsibilities And Authority
Policy Formulation. The ED significantly participates in the deliberation and development of AIASF and Center policies. The ED routinely recommends procedures and policies to the Board of Directors, and the AIASF/Center. The ED is responsible for the timely and thoughtful implementation of the direction and policies of the Board of Directors.

Decision Authority. As it concerns the execution of policies approved by the Board of Directors, the ED has the authority for making independent decisions. The ED has complete authority concerning staff. As it concerns the transaction of business matters, the ED may perform certain duties delegated by the Board of Directors, the Treasurer and the Secretary.

Budgetary. The ED, with the Finance Manager, develops and finalizes budgets with the AIASF and Center Treasurers for approval by the AIASF/Center Boards in the preparation of the program plan and budget for the following year. The ED ensures that all applicable insurance is maintained for the AIASF, Center and associated Board of Directors. The ED is responsible for ensuring that the AIASF assets are safeguarded, financial reports and statements are prepared for the Board of Directors. The ED also supervises audits, financial compilations, and filing of tax statements with the assistance of consultants. The ED is accountable for managing the facility which houses the organizations. 

To apply:

Please submit the following, via email, no later than noon, PST on August 16, 2019, to: execdirector@aiasf.org.

  • Resume or CV
  • Cover letter that includes the following information (It is recommended that you respond to these questions in the order listed in this job posting) :
    • Why are you interested in this position?
    • How does your background and experience support efforts to advance architecture and the building environment in the Bay Area and beyond?
    • What skills do you bring to this position?
  • Compensation information

All submissions are considered confidential. AIA San Francisco is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Salary commensurate with experience and education.  No phone calls, please. Questions may be directed to Stan Lew, AIA, 2019 AIASF President, at execdirector@aiasf.org.

AIA San Francisco recruits, hires, and promotes employees without regard to race, religion, national origin, and age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

San Francisco, California
Due Date: 
Friday, August 16, 2019
Posted by Jamie.Wong on July 11, 2019 - 10:21pm