The Search for the Next State Architect Continues

in: Government Affairs / 3 Comments
AIA California Council, AIACC, Appointments Unit, architects, Division of the State Architect, DSA, Governor Brown

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Parallel with its efforts to strengthen and elevate the purpose of the Division of the State Architect, The AIACC seeks to strengthen the next State Architect’s role in design and construction and is working with the Brown Administration to make it a reality.

As stated in the AIACC’s whitepaper, Maximizing California’s Resources: Recommendations for a Stronger Design and Construction Industry, in order to help build the State’s economy, provide needed jobs, improve our worn infrastructure, house our growing population, and preserve our natural resources, The AIA California Council urges the Administration to 1) Appoint a strong State Architect with vision, to lead the renewed organization insightfully, vigorously, and effectively and 2) Consolidate the State’s construction related functions under the Division of the State Architect as a single, efficient agency, responsible for policy and planning for the built environment, oversight of the design and construction industry, and leadership in sustainability. This renewed State Architect will once again serve as a trusted advisor to the Governor, a resource for the Legislature, and a leader of the profession, bringing architects’ knowledge and skills to bear on the complex challenges facing the state.

The AIACC is working with the Administration’s Appointments Unit to provide candidates for consideration. Through the work of the State Architect Selection Recommendation Task Group and the Executive Committee, the AIACC has advanced four candidates to Governor Brown for consideration for appointment.

During conversations with the Governor’s Appointment’s Unit the AIACC was given the following as criteria for its search efforts:

  • The Governor wants ethnic, gender, and geographic (north and South state representation) diversity
  • Candidates must be a visionary on energy and sustainability issues, and a leader. They must possess and understanding of DSA’s purpose, and be politically astute.

The Governor has expressed a personal interest in the position and as such will conduct the interviews personally. Thus, the timeline for this appointment is dependent upon the Governor’s schedule and priorities. We will keep the membership informed on any developments that arise regarding this important appointment.


Kurt Cooknick, Assoc. AIA

Kurt T. Cooknick, Assoc. AIA, is the Director of Regulation and Practice. With experience in the profession and over 15 years as an advocate on behalf of the architectural profession in California, he is passionate about protecting and advancing the profession.

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  1. avatar
    Marsha Zilles

    Where do you apply for this position?

  2. avatar
    James V. Vitale, AIA, LEED AP, CASp

    Our next State Architect must be a “Legacy” architect, entering into a perfect storm of confurging challanges. A leader with the knowledge, skills and divergence of experiences, who is a clear, concise and collaborative communicator.

    If the office of State Architect is truly empowered, by legisaltive language to lead and to implement that language by clear, concise clarifying regulations, the office’s legacy will be in the form of a collaborative, cost effective project delivery process free of impediments of the past.

    Our State Architect must be a master electrician who identifies incomplete or shortened and overloaded circuits and rewires the board to meet tomorrows needs.

    Past mistakes and lessons learned, if allowed to be shared, can reveal a clear path to the future legacy of “our” State architect..

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