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June 16, 2014
Chapter News

Rebecca Johnson Named Executive Director of AIA Philadelphia and Philadelphia Center for Architecture

By Liz

Rebecca Johnson has been named Executive Director of AIA Philadelphia (Chapter) and the Philadelphia Center for Architecture (Center). In this role, she will lead the Chapter and the Center, advocating for the architectural profession and the importance of architecture to the Greater Philadelphia community.
In announcing Johnson as the selected candidate, Antonio Fiol-Silva, FAIA, President of AIA Philadelphia, said Johnson will be a strong leader for the Chapter as she focuses on growing membership by creating increased value, and building effective partnerships with allied organizations. Fiol-Silva noted that Johnson also is the right choice to lead the Center in building collaborative relationships in the community, in expanding the visibility of the Center, and in expanding the visibility and impact of the Center with respect to the built environment.
“Rebecca is a dynamo,” said Fiol-Silva. “She is a strategic thinker and leader with a solid foundation in business, real estate law, design standards, membership services, finance and nonprofit leadership. We are thrilled to welcome her to our organization. I am confident that her management skills, coupled with her passion for public engagement and the built environment, will help us articulate even more effectively how important quality design and architecture are to the future of the region.”
“I am honored to serve as an advocate for the architecture profession in the region and to continue the impressive legacy that my predecessor, John Claypool, FAIA, has created.” Rebecca stated, “I am deeply committed to the City of Philadelphia and the region. Architects will design the future of our neighborhoods, skyline and public spaces, so I am honored and thrilled to be able to represent them and their contributions. Our Center for Architecture does a wonderful job of educating and engaging the public in discussions about how good design and architecture can improve their communities and their lives, and I am looking forward to helping us advance in this important area as well.”
Prior to joining AIA Philadelphia and the Center for Architecture, Johnson served as Executive Director of the Fairmount Community Development Corporation (CDC), where she led strategic efforts to grow the Greater Art Museum Business Alliance (GAMBA). She led the CDC and GAMBA in supporting more than 125 small businesses with technical assistance, business development and growth strategies, and created a marketing and communications plan that raised the visibility of Fairmount in the region and helped attract nearly two dozen new businesses in just three years. Johnson has served as a land-use and zoning attorney at Scenic Philadelphia (formerly SCRUB), Kaplin Stewart, Philadelphia, and Zator Law Offices, Allentown, where she worked with architects, real estate developers, municipal staff, and engineers on land development projects and land use legislations, including building codes and design standards.
“Rebecca is someone with obvious passion and outward energy,” added Bob Hsu AIA, President of the Center for Architecture, “and by being a little out of the box from thetraditional structure of the AIA, is an ideal candidate at this time to lead our Chapter and the CFA.”
A Philadelphia resident for the past 12 years, Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Lehigh University, a master’s in sociology/urban studies at Georgia State University and a law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
The national Search for AIA Philadelphia’s Executive Director was led by Priscilla Rosenwald, Principal and Founder of Leadership Recruiters. 

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