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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.

2023 Program Details

Interested in applying to be a 2023 CKLDP Scholar? Here are the steps you can take today:

  1. Review the Complete CKLDP 2023 Application Requirements and start collecting materials
  2. Review the 2023 Session Schedule and Details
  3. Review the 2023 CKLDP Tuition Assistance Form to see if you may qualify.
  4. Download the 2023 CKLDP Agreement Form

We will accept applications for the 2023 CKLDP program November 16th through December 11th at noon via

Following is the schedule for 2023 sessions:

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.

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 2022 Class

Katherine Ferguson, Assoc. AIA
Anna Huey, AIA
Jenny Kivett, AIA
Chris Isenhower
Wells Landers, AIA
Jennifer Lozano, Assoc. AIA
Stephen Mayer, AIA
Jackson Reed, AIA
Maureen Smith, AIA
Connor Sullivan, Assoc. AIA
Colton Todd, AIA
Tiffany Vieth, AIA
Chelsea Wade, AIA
Kavya Wadhawan, Assoc. AIA
Ian Wilson, Assoc. AIA
Francesca Zucchi, AIA

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Class

Taylor Hawley
Samuel Palmer-Dwore
Raphael Chavez
Molly Wheelock
Leah Gordon
Lauren Folkerts
Kaci Taylor
Janna Ferguson
James Graham
Christina Kim
Chris Powell
Chris Holzwart
Ben Burghart
Annie Hoke
Alexa Kaczor
Adam DeChant
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Clayton Members Club and Hotel | David Lauer Photography
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DU Burwell Center | Frank Ooms

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 2023