President's Letter

Dear IR Members,

I hope that those of you in the northern hemisphere are enjoying your summers and that those in the southern hemisphere are taking advantage of the wonderful activities that winter offers.  The AIA IR just held its annual members meeting during A’19 in Las Vegas to update members on our accomplishments over the last 12 months and our planned initiatives for the next 12 months.  The PowerPoint presentation is available on the IR website for your review.  We also held our elections for 2020-2021 Vice President/President Elect and for 2020-2021 Treasurer. You will note from the recent announcement that Scott Gold, AIA from the AIA Japan Chapter was elected as Vice President and that our former Unassigned Director Yew Kee Cheong, AIA based in Singapore was elected as our next Treasurer.  Both these men bring a wealth of experience and will lead the Region into its next chapter.  Please do join me in congratulating them.  In order to ensure that the IR continues to be a vibrant and evolving organization, we encourage members with past board experience in their AIA chapters or other similar organizations to run for the IR Secretary in 2020. We also want a board that is representative of our diverse membership and as such would hope to see more women candidates run for office in the future.

The resolution that we had put forward allowing the Region to create sections under its umbrella was unsuccessful or more specifically delayed due to ongoing work by a taskforce reviewing the functions of all 19 AIA Regions.  The IR Board is nevertheless resolute to service its unassigned members across the globe.  Part of this initiative encompasses identifying locations around the world where there is enough mass and interest so that we can appoint International Region country representatives. These representatives will be responsible for the organization of limited events for our unassigned members amongst other things.  We also encourage all unassigned members to join the following committees:

·         AIA IR Unassigned Member Committee

·         AIA IR Latin American Committee

·         AIA IR Southeast Asian Committee

You may contact the AIA IR Board at to request to be included in these committees important work.  The board is also planning to create an AIA IR African Committee in the next few weeks. We are additionally seeking additional volunteers for our Communications Committee.

We also held our fifth annual Design Awards celebration and luncheon during A’19 in Las Vegas where we showcased the winning entries. This design award presentation, with special emphasis on sustainability through the added dimensions of our inaugural Sustainable Future Award (SFA), was a great success. The IR thanks its wonderful sponsors NorthGlass and DOW for making this event possible and we encourage our members to find out more about these two companies and their building products and to make sure to fill out the sustainability pages of the on-line awards submission to open opportunities for a free carbon audit and visibility helping to offset the coming Olympics.

A notice was recently sent out to the members via email to make you aware of the sixth design award whose winning entries will be awarded during the IR’s Shanghai Conference, November 14-17. We note that two new categories have been added: 1) encouraging US based firms to enter their foreign projects and 2) introducing the inaugural AIA IR Firm Award. All IR members are encouraged to submit their best projects for our global award across all categories. Start now, submissions due 28 August (for details click here)

3-time USA swimming Olympian Elizabeth Beisel with AIA IR President Thierry Paret, FAIA at the IR Design Awards during A’19.    Beisel’s heartfelt words on striving for excellence resonated with the crowd and furthered the collaboration between AIA IR and the Dow- IOC carbon partnership towards a sustainable built future.

3-time USA swimming Olympian Elizabeth Beisel with AIA IR President Thierry Paret, FAIA at the IR Design Awards during A’19.

Beisel’s heartfelt words on striving for excellence resonated with the crowd and furthered the collaboration between AIA IR and the Dow- IOC carbon partnership towards a sustainable built future.

 We hope that you will join us in Shanghai from November 14 to 17 for the joint AIA International Region /AIA Shanghai Chapter Conference.  The conference website will be launched shortly with all the details necessary to register for this event being held in this amazing world leading city.  We look forward to seeing you there!!

 We also encourage unassigned members who are interested in submitting to the AIA College of Fellows to contact AIA IR Past President and Chair of the Fellowship Committee James Wright, FAIA at to inquire about your eligibility.  Members meeting the AIA’s requirements will be eligible to be sponsored by the International Region’s board. As a note the submission site opened on July 1st and will close October 1st, 2019.  You may also visit for full details on fellowship.

The Board is also pleased to welcome Melody Harrison as our Administrative Manager in Washington DC.  Melody will help us significantly to improve our services to our members and to be a better organization. 

We are also planning to hold a joint one-day event with AIA Miami with Spanish continuing education content in 2020 to service our Latin American unassigned members with a follow up in Mexico City in 2021. Please do keep checking notifications from the IR on this event.  Those interested in finding out more can contact our Committee Chair Alex Miller, AIA at

The IR will continue its relationship with its sponsor Informa-Windoor to create content for their future expos in China.  The event held this year in Guangzhou, China by all accounts was an absolute success and further enhances the AIA’s exposure as a provider of quality continuing education content in China.  These partnerships are also very important as they provide IR members with additional opportunities to avail themselves of continuing education credits in various geographies.  I thank Vice President Lester Korzilius, FAIA and past President Christine Bruckner, FAIA for all the hard work involved in bringing this significant initiative to fruition.

In a similar vein, the board is also exploring various options to create webinar continuing education content for the IR membership.  We will provide you with updates on this initiative in the coming months.

Finally, I ask that you please contact us with questions, comments and requests so that we can serve you in the best way possible.  Please get involved in your respective chapters and the region as you are the lifeblood to this organization.


Thierry A Paret, FAIA, ARB, MRIAI, LEED AP, Richard Upjohn Fellow


AIA International Region