AIA 2017

Michelle Obama added as keynote speaker for AIA National Conference on Architecture 2017

Architecture National
Michelle Obama has been just been added a keynote speaker for this year's AIA Conference on Architecture. (Courtesy ©Sonya N. Hebert)
Michelle Obama has been just been added a keynote speaker for this year's AIA Conference on Architecture. (Courtesy ©Sonya N. Hebert)

Lawyer, writer, and former First Lady Michelle Obama has been added to the lineup of keynote speakers for the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference in Orlando, Florida. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon via email to AIA members.

Obama joins architects Alejandro Aravena, Nora Demeter, Dr. Eve Edelstein, Elizabeth Diller, Michael Ford, Francis Kéré, and Michael Murphy, among others, scheduled to speak at the three-day conference taking place April 27 to 29, 2017.

See below for text from speaker webpage on the AIA conference website.

Michelle Obama

 Lawyer, writer, & former First Lady

Over the last eight years while in the White House, former First Lady Michelle Obama has worked tirelessly to champion a number of important initiatives designed to make our world a better place.

Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017, transforming the position and becoming a role model, champion, and inspiration for women, families, and young people across America and around the world.

As First Lady, Mrs. Obama launched and led four key initiatives:

  • Let’s Move! brought together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, celebrities, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity;
  • Joining Forces, which she launched with Dr. Jill Biden, called on all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities;
  • Reach Higher aimed to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university;
  • Let Girls Learn, focused on helping adolescent girls around the world go to school.

Mrs. Obama attended Chicago public schools until enrolling in Princeton, where she studied sociology and African American studies. She graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1985 and received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. She then joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama.Following her time at Sidley & Austin, Mrs. Obama served as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, before becoming the founding Executive Director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young people for public service careers.As part of her continued focus on community service and engagement, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago in 1996 as its Associate Dean of Student Services focused on fostering connections between the campus and community. She also served as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.Mrs. Obama was born on January 17, 1964. She married Barack Obama in 1992. They currently live in Washington, DC and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

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