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Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program


The architecture profession is changing. And we believe you are its next leaders.

The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP) aims to train the next generation of leaders in architecture through a series of nine half-day sessions. The curriculum focuses on honing skills like:

Each year, this competitive program accepts 16 emerging professionals to collaborate, learn together and develop as leaders in architecture.

This program is ideal for members who are eager to advance in their career and either have not yet become a licensed architect, or have been licensed for 10 years or less.

Through the varied areas of study during the year, CKLDP gave me a bigger picture of the architecture industry as a whole. The variety of topics brought me out of my narrow understanding of the field and broadened my view on the industry and how we can shape its future.

Lindsay Slavin | Architect, Former Scholar

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Class

Adam DeChant
Alexa Kaczor
Annie Hoke
Ben Burghart
Chris Holzwart
Chris Powell
Christina Kim
James Graham
Janna Ferguson
Kaci Taylor
Lauren Folkerts
Leah Gordon
Molly Wheelock
Raphael Chavez
Samuel Palmer-Dwore
Taylor Hawley
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Lone Tree Branch Library | David Lauer Photography

Join us for our 2022 program

Applications Open November 1
Program Agreement
Tuition Assistance Request Form

2022 Program Schedule

Applications Due: December 6, 2021

Boot Camp: January 21, 2022 (mandatory attendance)

Session 1: Working Together, March 11, 2022

Session 2: Community Engagement, April 8, 2022

Session 3: Entrepreneurship, May 13, 2022

Session 4: Contracts and Negotiation, June 10, 2022

Session 5: Business Management, July 15, 2022

Session 6: The Changing Nature of Practice, August 19, 2022

Session 7: Research, Education and Expanding Practice, September 16, 2022

Session 8: The Future of Architecture & Closing Reception, October 14, 2022 (mandatory attendance)

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Clayton Members Club and Hotel | David Lauer Photography
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DU Burwell Center | Frank Ooms

History of the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program

Christopher Kelley, AIA, was an active member of the Washington, D.C. architectural community who suddenly passed away in May 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, Kelley 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.

In 2013, the AIA|DC chapter undertook an initiative to develop a program, which would help train and nurture the next generation of leaders. In 2016, it made its way to AIA Colorado. Prospective participants must go through an application process for selection where proven career success, community involvement, and the individual’s firm support will be considered.

Three members of my studio became scholars of the Christopher Kelly Leadership Development Program, and two went on to become association leaders. From my observations, the experience gained by my team members by being a part of this program plays a significant role in one’s growth and maturity as a professional.

Brian Erickson, AIA, LEED AP | Principal, Davis Partnership Architects
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BCG Denver | Jeremy Bittermann Photography
© AIA Colorado 2021