The American Institute of Architects announced today that Lakisha Woods will be the institute’s 15th Executive Vice-President and CEO. Woods, who is the first Black woman to serve in this role, is currently the President and CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). She will assume her new position at AIA on January 31st, 2022.

An accomplished executive in the design and construction industry, Woods oversaw the expansion of NIBS programs and markets and deepened its relationships with members, clients, partners, and public agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“It is an honor to welcome Lakisha to the AIA,” said AIA 2021 President Peter Exley in a statement, “Her breadth of experience in the building industry combined with her leadership in making the built environment more sustainable, equitable, and safer for Americans makes her a natural fit for advancing AIA’s strategic priorities. I look forward to seeing her further empower architects to improve society and transform the built environment as well as inspire the next generation.”

Woods holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of College Park, Maryland and, prior to NIBS, served in senior positions at the National Association of Home Builders and the Associated General Contractors of America. She is currently on the board of directors for the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Society of Association Executives and has spearheaded diversity and inclusion initiatives within the building industry.

"I am excited, from day one, to build on AIA’s strong foundation of achievements and to expand its leadership role in the industry and society,” Woods said in a statement, “I look forward to working with the AIA team, volunteer leaders, and, most of all, AIA’s passionate and engaged members to take full advantage of this dynamic moment in history to secure a future for the association that is as diverse as our society, as inclusive as everyone deserves, and as sustainable as the next generation demands.”

Woods will be succeeding Robert Ivy, who has served as EVP/CEO of the AIA since 2011 (and prior to that, was Architectural Record’s editor in chief).