December 3, 2021 – Spencer Stuart has assisted in the recruitment of Lakisha Ann Woods as chief executive officer for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). “It is an honor to welcome Lakisha to the AIA,” said Peter Exley, president of AIA. “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.”
Ms. Woods has held several significant leadership roles in the design and construction industry. She currently serves as president and CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), which convenes experts from the building industry, design, government and regulation to identify and develop solutions to critical issues impacting the built environment, including climate action, natural disasters and inequity. While at NIBS, Ms. Woods expanded the organization’s programs and markets while also growing its relationships with its members, clients, partners and public agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Additionally, she led initiatives to address discrimination and improve equity in the building industry.
Prior to NIBS, Ms. Woods served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). While at NAHB, Woods led a team of 27 staff, oversaw a $54 million budget and was responsible for marketing and revenue-generating programs, sponsorships, partnerships with national firms and marketing the International Builders Show. Ms. Woods also serves on the board of directors for several organizations. She is the 2021-2022 vice chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, 2021-2022 chair-elect of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and chair of the ASAE Foundation.
As AIA’s CEO, Ms. Woods will manage the national office in Washington, D.C., and oversee some 200 employees. She will also partner with the board of directors as well as work collaboratively with over 200 chapters nationwide and overseas to support AIA members and advance AIA’s strategic vision of driving positive change through the power of design. Additionally, she will ensure AIA continues to effectively serve as the collective voice of architecture and design by expanding an engaged membership base that increases diversity in the profession and evolves AIA’s programs, products and services. Woods will also sit on the independent board of AIA’s Construction Document business, which is led through a strategic partnership with True Wind Capital.
“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,” said Ms. Woods. “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.”
Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well-being.
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Over the past five years, Spencer Stuart has conducted more than 900 executive and board searches globally, the majority for CEOs, presidents, chairmen, executive directors and other C-suite roles. Ninety-four percent of its executive search placements in the past five years are still in their roles today. Spencer Stuart’s commitment to diversity and has a strong track record in advancing diversity in education, nonprofit and government leadership. In the past five years, nearly half of all of its placements in the sector have been diverse. Of these placements, 75 percent are in president, CEO, dean, executive director and other top leadership roles.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media