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Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program

Due to popular demand, we are extending our application deadline to August 5th!

The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP) aims to train the next generation of leaders in architecture through a series of nine (9) half-day sessions. This year the  curriculum developed by AIA Miami CKLDP in partnership with the AIA Fort Lauderdale focuses on honing skills such as:

● Leadership

● Entrepreneurship and Firm Management

● Collaboration and teamwork

● Negotiation skills

● Business development

● Understanding industry game-changers

● Client development

● Community engagement & civic leadership

Each year, this competitive program accepts sixteen (16) emerging professionals to grow and develop as future leaders in the architecture profession.


Beginning in 2017, the AIA Miami chapter undertook the initiative to develop a program that would help train and nurture the next generation of leaders following in the footsteps of the AIA DC chapter who created the program in 2013. This program, titled the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP), has been offered in Miami since 2017. Based on the program’s success, AIA Miami in partnership with AIA Fort Lauderdale, looks to secure a promising faction of scholars for its class of 2022-23. The year‐long program consists of nine (9) individual half‐day sessions attended by a competitively selected group of sixteen (16) emerging professionals (an emerging professional is defined as a graduate from college with an architecture degree and within 10 years of licensure). Prospective participants must go through an application process for selection where proven career success, community involvement, and the individual’s firm/agency support will be considered.


The curriculum focuses on core professional skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management; teamwork and collaboration; negotiating skills; client development; community leadership; understanding trends within the industry; and developing your future within the practice. The selected scholars to the leadership program are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions. The program will be kicked off by a “Boot Camp” session to introduce the participants and to develop the curriculum for the year. Sessions will be held monthly on Fridays from 12:00pm – 5:00pm, September through May. A full list of courses and specific dates are described below in the 2022‐23 Schedule.

Application Process

Individuals may be nominated by their firm or can nominate themselves and will be selected based on a written application, recommendations, and resume. The sixteen (16) successful applicants will represent a diverse group of emerging professionals that demonstrate a strong potential as a future leader. The application process is not intended to be exhaustive but is competitive and should not be taken lightly. Throughout the application process, candidates are encouraged to emphasize their previous leadership experience; explain what expertise they intend to provide to the program; and clarify how they intend to utilize the skills learned through the program. A jury will convene in July to make the selections of the 2022‐23 program scholars. Call for Applications: The official Call for Application is announced June 16, 2022. Application Deadline: All forms must be submitted by 11:59pm on July 22, 2022 to be eligible. Notification of Acceptance: Candidates will be notified of their selection to participate in the program by August 19, 2022.


Tuition for AIA Members is $450; non‐AIA member tuition is $550. AIA Miami and AIA Fort Lauderdale may choose to offer tuition assistance to individuals that may be from small firms that would otherwise not be able to participate. The amount and number of tuition assistance will be at the discretion of the Selection Committee.

AIA Membership

Though AIA membership is encouraged for all scholars, it is not mandatory. A preference will be given to AIA Miami and AIA Fort Lauderdale members, though other allied organization members are welcome to apply for review.

Required Commitment to the Program

The program’s success is directly related to the attendance by the participants and therefore attendance is mandatory. Each participant of the program will be required to sign an Agreement Form that will require a signature from one of the participant’s principals of their firm/agency. Provided due notice to the Executive Committee, with extenuating circumstances, each scholar will be allowed one (1) excused absence. If two (2) sessions are missed, a fine of $50 will be sent to the participants’ firm/agency. A further absence will result in an additional $50 fine and expulsion from the program. All scholars are required to attend the “Boot Camp” Session and the Closing Reception, no exceptions.

AIA Continuing Education

It is intended that this program will have AIA CE credit made available for its participants. A total of 45 CEU’s will be provided, 25 of which are intended to be HSW.

Honoring Christopher Kelley

Christopher Kelley, AIA was an active member of the DC architectural community and suddenly passed away in May of 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 Christopher 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.


For more information the 2022‐23 CKLDP Executive Committee

CKLDP Co-Chair: Jason Hagopian, AIA, LEED AP -

AIA Fort Lauderdale 2022 President: Jose Lobo, AIA –

Required Application Materials


Required Uploads:

  1. Letter of Nomination/Letter of Interest – candidates may be nominated by others or be self‐ nominated. The author of the nomination letter should ideally be familiar with the program and understand the leadership qualities of the applicant. Letters are limited to one page and uploaded in PDF format. (Last Name‐First Name‐Letter of Nomination.pdf)

  2. Letters of Recommendation – each application must include a minimum of one and maximum of three, letter(s) of recommendation. It is in the best interest of the applicant to provide only strong letters of support/recommendation. Letters are limited to one page each and uploaded in PDF format. (Last Name‐First Name‐Letter of Recommendation‐1.pdf)

  3. Personal Resume – including applicant’s education, employment history, organizations or activity involvement, and honors and awards. Resumes are preferred to be no more than two pages and uploaded in PDF format. (It is NOT in the best interest of the applicant to simply submit a 1‐page firm resume with project experience) (Last Name‐First Name‐Resume.pdf)

  4. Agreement Form – completed, signed, and uploaded in PDF format. Please see the Downloads section to download a copy of the form. (Last Name‐First Name‐Agreement.pdf)

Required Questions:

NOTE – responses shall not exceed 1,000 characters.  Be succinct and to the point with your responses.

  1. Is the applicant an emerging professional (Within 10 years of first architectural registration and has graduated from an architectural degree program)? Yes/No

  2. What do you feel are the 3 most significant issues and opportunities facing the profession today?

  3. What are the specific skills or knowledge you hope to gain from your participation in the CKLDP?

  4. How do you define leadership and how have you demonstrated leadership skills to this point in your career?

Downloads: Tuition Assistance, Application Details, Agreement Form & Schedule
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