Young Architects Forum

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Who we are

The Young Architects Forum (YAF), a program of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the College of Fellows (COF), is organized to address issues of particular importance to recently licensed architects.

FAQ: What is a young architect and what is an emerging professional? Young architects are architects licensed up to ten years of initial licensure, and the name does not have any relationship to age. Emerging professionals are professionals who have completed their academic studies up to the point of licensure or up to 10 years after completion of their academic studies. Although young architects are now defined as distinct from emerging professionals, many components refer to these groups similarly. For example, a local YAF group may include emerging professionals and a local Emerging Professionals Committee may include young architects.

2024 Call for Volunteers to the YAF Advisory Committee 

04-30-2024 10:53 AM

Apply Now! 

There are many opportunities to volunteer with the AIA. Volunteering with the Institute means you are a representative of its growing membership. While your personal values are important, volunteering on one of the Institute’s national committees requires a personal commitment to the advancement of the mission and values of the AIA. As a volunteer, you will work on a team to think strategically about various initiatives of the Institute and seek to promote excellence through exemplary conduct.

Volunteering with the Institute not only requires personal commitment to the advancement of the mission and values of the Institute, but it also involves a serious time commitment. As a member of the NAC or YAF Advisory Committee, you will be required to participate in monthly conference calls, as determined by your committee, in-person and virtual meetings and conferences, and other events as needed. If you are unable to make regular phone calls or any of the other commitments, please consider if now is the right time to volunteer. Please see below for more information.

Required meetings:

YAF Leadership Transition Meeting – Virtual meeting, October 2024
YAF Annual Meeting –  In-person meeting, February 2025

NAC Leadership Transition Meeting - Virtual meeting, October 2024
NAC Annual Meeting – In-person meeting, February 2025

Each director is expected to lead a workgroup of state representatives. This will include monthly working calls at a minimum.

Current YAF Openings:

The Young Architects Forum (YAF) is a committee of the American Institute of Architects that is organized to address issues of importance to recently licensed architects (those licensed less than ten years). The YAF is charged with providing early licensure resources in leadership, mentorship, and fellowship. The YAF works with the AIA Knowledge and Practice team to develop and carry out these important resources in order to foster effective career development and success.

*To learn more about the YAF and the roles and responsibilities of the open positions, please read: 

2024 YAF Handbook

2025 Vice-Chair
The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair with committee responsibilities in preparation to become the Chair of the committee in their second year. This person shall serve as the Past Chair in their third year and may be expected to serve in a liaison role for external partners. This position serves a three-year commitment and may involve additional travel outside of the annual meeting. 

2025-2026 Knowledge Director
The Knowledge Director leads the identification of important issues to recently licensed architects and the creation of knowledge resources to enable young architects to advance their careers. This position serves a two year term.

2025-2026 Communications Director
The Communications Director leads the elevation of young architect voices. This position serves a two year term.

2025-2026 Advocacy Director
The Advocacy Director leads the identification and response to principal advocacy issues that are of specific concern or interest to young architects. This position serves a two year term.

Current NAC Openings:

The National Associates Committee (NAC) is a unique committee representing a particular membership category of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). While it is our sincere hope that the future of membership evolves and changes, we remain steadfast in our intention of serving and representing Associate AIA Members. 

*To learn more about the NAC and the roles and responsibilities of the open positions, please read:

2024 NAC Handbook

2025 Vice-Chair / 2026 Chair
The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair of the committee with committee responsibilities, in preparation to become the Chair of the committee in their second year, and Past Chair in their third year. This position serves a three-year commitment and may involve additional travel outside of the annual meeting. 

2025-2026 Knowledge Director
This At Large Director leads a work group of STARs to advocate for the community of current and future Associates by defining, collecting, and disseminating available resources to aid in personal and professional development.

2025-2026 Advocacy Director
This At Large Director leads a work group of STARs to serve its membership through the public promotion of the Associate experience in order to validate the presence of the unlicensed within the architectural industry, ultimately leading it to professionally evolve.

2025-2026 Strategic Partnerships Director
This At Large Director leads a work group of STARs to connect more broadly with the Institute, by engaging with more Knowledge Communities, Strategic Council Sprints, and with opportunities available with AIA Staff. We aim to elevate more Associate voices across the Institute and forge strategic alignments to share common goals. 

2025 Associate Representative on the AIA Strategic Council / 2026 Associate Representative to the Board
This position serves a two-year commitment. This person advocates for issues and topics related to Assoc. AIA members of the Institute on the AIA Strategic Council (year one) and Board of Directors (year two).

Selection Committees

Please note that selection committee members cannot provide letters of recommendation for candidate applications.  

YAF Selection Committee
Sarah Nelson-Woynicz, AIA, YAF Chair 2025 (chair)
Jason Takeuchi, AIA, YAF Chair 2024
Seth Duke, AIA, YAF Community Director
Steven Spurlock, FAIA, COF Liaison to the YAF
Kumi Wickramanayaka, AIA, DC YAR

NAC Selection Committee
Darral Tate, Jr., Assoc. AIA, NAC Chair 2025 (chair)
Libertad "Lauren" Harris, AIA, NAC Chair 2024
Alyanna Subayno, Assoc. AIA, Associate Representative to the Strategic Council
Kari Lawson, AIA, NAC At Large Director for Strategic Partnerships
Ingrid Spencer (AIA Austin) CACE Liaison
Kathleen McCormick (AIA National) Staff Liaison, non-voting

Submission Materials

  1. Statement of Interest: Please include a statement of interest outlining why you should be considered for this position (500 words or less)
  2. Resume/ CV
  3. Writing Sample*: Please include a 500-word writing sample. *This item is required for YAF Communications Director applicants only.
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation: Only two letters of recommendation will be considered: a primary and a secondary. Please read the descriptions carefully to ensure your letters meet the requirements for submission. Additional letters or those not meeting the details of the requirement may result in disqualification and will be reviewed at the selection committee's discretion. Note neither letter may be from a current selection committee member. Primary Letter of Recommendation: This letter of recommendation must be from a current or past AIA Component Leader (a Component President, Executive Committee member, or Component committee Chair) or AIA Component staff. This letter may also be from a current or past member of the AIA Board of Directors, AIA Strategic Council, or AIA national volunteer committee such as the NAC or YAF. Secondary Letter of Recommendation: This letter of recommendation may be from a current mentor, supervisor, or other person of note throughout your professional or volunteer career.

Timeline

The application period closes at 11:59 PM ET Monday, July 8, 2024.

A preliminary review will occur from July 15-26, 2024.

Final candidate interviews will be held in late July and early August.

Candidate selections will be announced on August 12-16, 2024.

Questions  contact KathleenMcCormick@aia.org

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