An Intro to the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program


Mentorship and professional development with emerging professionals is invaluable—a must. AIA Colorado is grateful to provide its emerging professionals a pathway in career development while honoring the legacy and contributions of the late Christopher Shawn Kelley, AIA, a Washington, D.C.-area rising star who passed away suddenly in 2012.

The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP) started in Washington, D.C. in 2013 and expanded to Colorado in 2016 by way of AIA Colorado President Rachael Johnson, AIA. Johnson is a CKLDP founding member and a scholar of the 2014-15 D.C. class. She saw, firsthand, the benefits for members and architectural firms. With great vision, Johnson influenced AIA Colorado to be the first expansion location for the CKLDP.

This past year, 16 emerging professionals were selected as CKLDP Scholars. An emerging professional is defined as someone who has graduated from college with an architecture degree and is not yet licensed or within 10 years of receiving their professional license.

Apply soon if you meet the aforementioned criteria and want to expand your architectural horizon in 2022. Applications are due by December 6, and a detailed application timeline is below.

CKLDP applicants need to submit four different items: 1) a written application, 2) a recommendation, 3) your resume, and 4) a short-answer form. A fifth item, the Tuition Assistance Form, is optional. Tuition for AIA members is currently $450 and for non-members $650.

A unique and fun aspect of each year is every class of scholars collaborates and plans out the details for their upcoming schedule. Speakers, topics, and locations are defined by the scholars themselves. This tailored approach makes this year a win-win for each individual class.

During this webinar, recent scholars shared takeaways from this past year’s CKLDP (see below). Of course, COVID made an impact, but this class was steadfast and adaptive. AIA Colorado CEO Mike Waldinger said, “This class was inspiring at what was learned and how to head forward thanks to their resilience.”

What should upcoming CKLDP Scholars expect?

What session topics were noteworthy?

For those emerging professionals, please consider applying for this distinct professional development program. Understand the application process and the important dates below. Let’s honor Christopher Kelley by learning from each other as we design buildings for a better Colorado.

2022 Application Timeline / Schedule

For more information or questions, please contact CKLDP Chair Mark Bever.

© AIA Colorado 2021