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Kimberly Dowdell AIA, NOMAC, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C

Director of Strategic Relationships
“My overarching professional mission is to improve people's lives by design."

Kimberly has devoted her entire professional career to laying the foundations for architects to create positive social change on a local, national and global scale. She has built bridges connecting diverse pillars of our society, from architectural firms and their clients to professional organizations, commercial developers, government agencies and academia. As a skilled relationship-builder, she fosters a more collaborative and inclusive approach to architecture, paving the way for a brighter future for all.

Kimberly’s impact reaches far beyond HOK’s clients and partners, as she frequently speaks at conferences and events and mentors emerging leaders within the firm and throughout the industry. She co-chairs HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) and co-founded HOK Impact, the firm’s social responsibility arm.

Kimberly’s expertise and leadership have earned her recognition and appointments from several prominent organizations. She currently serves as the 2024 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She previously served on the board of directors of the Architects Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the AIA. She also sits on the board of the Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC), which works to shape the city’s growth, equity and quality of place. Kimberly is also a board member of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB), and Ingenuity Chicago, which increases access to quality arts education for all Chicago Public School students.

Kimberly is the past president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects Council (NOMAC), the organization’s highest level of recognition. She is a past AIA Young Architects Award recipient and was recognized for her activism efforts by Architectural Record’s Women in Architecture Awards program.

Kimberly co-founded Social Economic Environmental Design, an organization that promotes sustainable development in 2005. She has been honored as a “40 Under 40” in Crain’s Chicago Business and Crain’s Detroit Business and delivered the 19th Annual Dunlop Lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She was elected by her fellow alumni to serve on the board of trustees at Cornell University in 2022.


Harvard University
Master of Public Administration

Cornell University
Bachelor of Architecture

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