George Miller to Become AIA President

George Miller (right) with Mayor Bloomberg and 2007 AIA New York Chapter president Joan Blumenfeld.
Courtesy George Miller

For the first time in more than 30 years, New York City will claim one of its own as president of the American Institute of Architects. At the annual AIA convention in Boston yesterday, George H. Miller was named first vice-president and president-elect, taking that office in 2009. When he becomes president in 2010, he will be the first New York City architect to represent the national organization since 1971, when Max Urbahn held the office.

The AIA also elected Pamela Loeffelman as vice-president and named Rick Bell the board representative of the Council of Architectural Component Executives, meaning that three longtime associates of the AIA New York chapter will sit on the national executive board next year, perhaps acknowledging the local chapter’s reinvigorated public presence at its Center for Architecture.

Miller, a partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, was named AIA vice-president in 2007, and served as president of the AIA New York chapter in 2003. Born in Berlin, he emigrated to the United States as a child and studied architecture at Pennsylvania State University, receiving his B. Arch. in 1973.

As a 30-year veteran of Pei Cobb Freed, Miller’s projects have included the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia (2003), the Amsterdam headquarters of ABN AMRO Bank (1999), and Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas (1989). He also served as management partner for the Central Terminal Complex at JFK International Airport in New York (1990), among many other projects.

His platform as AIA president includes an aggressive push toward sustainable design, energy conservation, and carbon reduction, as well as a focus on affordable housing, comprehensive regional planning, and public transportation.

"I am interested in elevating the voice of architects, and celebrating the importance of quality design in our communities, much as we have done through our own Center for Architecture," Miller told AN. "The Institute’s strategic initiatives for sustainable design and carbon reduction will be an important focus, as will the support of our young and emerging architects."

But expanding the profession’s diversity has also been one of Miller’s top priorities. As he emphasized at a recent conference on diversity in the architectural field, African Americans account for only 1.15 percent of AIA membership. “In the United States, we have a grand total of 242 registered female African American architects, less than five per state,” he said. “There is much work to be done.”

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