In 2017, the AIA Miami chapter undertook an initiative to develop a program which would help train and nurture the next generation of leaders. The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP), developed by the AIA DC chapter, has now graduated two classes of scholars!

Based on the program’s success, AIA Miami looks to secure a promising group of scholars for its class of 2020-21. The year‐long program consists of nine (9) individual half‐day sessions attended by a competitively selected group of sixteen (16) emerging professionals (an emerging professional is defined as a graduate from an accredited college with an architecture degree and within 10 years of licensure). Prospective participants must go through an application process for selection where proven career success, community involvement and the individual’s firm/agency support will be considered.

The curriculum focuses on core professional skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management; teamwork and collaboration; negotiating skills; client development; community leadership; understanding trends within the industry; and developing your future within the practice. The selected scholars to the leadership program are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions. The program will be kicked off by a “Boot Camp” session to introduce the participants and to develop the curriculum for the year.

Sessions will be held monthly from 12:00pm – 5:00pm, September through May. A full list of courses and specific dates are described in the documents section below in the 2020‐21 Schedule.

Individuals may be nominated by their firm or can nominate themselves and will be selected on the basis of a written application, recommendations, and resume. The sixteen (16) successful applicants will represent a diverse group of emerging professionals that demonstrate a strong potential as a future leader. The application process is not intended to be exhaustive, but is competitive and should not be taken lightly. Throughout the application process, candidates are encouraged to emphasize their previous leadership experience; explain what expertise they intend to provide to the program; and clarify how they intend to utilize the skills learned through the program. A jury will convene in July to make the selections of the 2020-21 program scholars.

Call for Applications: The official Call for Application is announced June 4, 2020.

Application Deadline: All forms must be submitted by 11:59pm on July 3, 2020 July 10, 2020 to be eligible.

Notification of Acceptance: Candidates will be notified of their selection to participate in the program by August 4, 2020.

Tuition for AIA Members is $450; non‐AIA member tuition is $550. AIA MIAMI may choose to offer tuition assistance to individuals that may be from small firms that would otherwise not be able to participate. The amount and number of tuition assistance will be at the discretion of the Selection Committee.

Though AIA membership is encouraged for all scholars, it is not mandatory. A preference will be given to AIA MIAMI members, though other allied organization members are welcome to submit an application for review.

The program’s success is directly related to the attendance by the participants and therefore attendance is mandatory. Each participant of the program will be required to sign an Agreement Form that will require a signature from one of the participant’s principals of their firm/agency. Provided due notice to the Executive Committee, with extenuating circumstances, each scholar will be allowed one (1) excused absence. If two (2) sessions are missed, a fine of $50 will be sent to the participants’ firm/agency. A further absence will result in an additional $50 fine and expulsion from the program.  All scholars are required to attend the “Boot Camp” Session and the Closing Reception, no exceptions.

It is intended that this program will have AIA CE credit made available for its participants. A total of 45 CEU’s will be provided, 25 of which are intended to be HSW.

Christopher Kelley, AIA was an active member of the DC architectural community and suddenly passed away in May of 2012. He was a respected leader within the Institute as well as within Gensler’s Washington office. Through his volunteer efforts, he participated and contributed to initiatives and programs that have had a positive impact on emerging professionals at different stages of their careers. In 2010 Christopher was honored with the AIA Young Architects Award for which the jury stated, “Christopher has proven himself a young leader within and around the AIA, a real example for other young professionals.” This program is intended to continue his legacy of leadership and activism.

For more information please visit the AIA Miami website or contact the 2020‐21 CKLDP Executive Committee:

Co-Chair: Elizabeth Camargo, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB –
Co-Chair: Jason Hagopian, AIA, LEED AP –
Graphics Committee: Amanda S. Rosenfeld, AIA –
Associate Director: Sarah C. Malebranche, Assoc. AIA –
AIA Miami 2020 President: Daphne Gurri, AIA –
Advisor: Jaime E. Sobrino, FAIA , LEED AP, PMP –


Required Uploads:

  1. Letter of Nomination/Letter of Interest – candidates may be nominated by others or be self‐ The author of the nomination letter should ideally be familiar with the program and understands the leadership qualities of the applicant. Letters are limited to one page and uploaded in PDF format. (Last Name‐First Name‐Letter of Nomination.pdf)
  2. Letters of Recommendation – each application must include a minimum of one and maximum of three, letter(s) of recommendation. It is in the best interest of the applicant to provide only strong letters of support/recommendation. Letters are limited to one page each and uploaded in PDF format. (Last Name‐First Name‐Letter of Recommendation‐pdf)
  3. Personal Resume – including applicant’s education, employment history, organizations or activity involvement, and honors and awards. Resumes are preferred to be no more than two pages and uploaded in PDF format. (It is NOT in the best interest of the applicant to simply submit a 1‐page firm resume with project experience) (Last Name‐First Name‐pdf)
  4. Agreement Form – completed, signed, and uploaded in PDF format. Please see documents section below to download a copy of the agreement form. (Last Name‐First Name‐Agreement.pdf)

Required Questions:

NOTE – responses shall not exceed 1,000 characters.  Be succinct and to the point with your responses.

  1. Is the applicant an emerging professional (Within 10 years of first architectural registration and has graduated from an architectural degree program)? Yes/No
  2. What do you feel are the 3 most significant issues and opportunities facing the profession today?
  3. What are the specific skills or knowledge you hope to gain from your participation in the CKLDP?
  4. How do you define leadership and how have you demonstrated leadership skills to this point in your career?

Tuition Assistance is limited to AIA MIAMI members and dependent upon firm size. Individuals are encouraged to apply for tuition assistance if they qualify. Please review the criteria carefully.

Please see documents section below to download a copy of the tuition assistance form.

All forms must be submitted by 11:59pm on July 3, 2020 July 10, 2020 to be eligible.

AIA Miami | Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program 2018

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