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AIA President Selected to Lead International Union of Architects

Thomas Vonier, FAIA, 2017 AIA President was elected President of the International Union of Architects (UIA) during the 2017 UIA World Congress and General Assembly in Seoul, South Korea. Vonier will lead the Paris-based organization that represents 1.6 million architects worldwide through more than 100 national member sections for a three-year term.  

“The UIA is strong. We have regained our place as an influential world organization, fully engaged with the United Nations, UNESCO and other world bodies. We are advancing global policies and programs of real significance,” said Vonier during his campaign. “We must show the world how architecture can help to resolve the difficult issues facing society and our planet. The UIA is here to unify architects worldwide, influence global policies and outcomes, and advance the power of architecture to meet human needs.”

Vonier plans to engage government bodies and international organizations on meeting global challenges through design, while promoting cooperation among architects around the world. Vonier, who heads a consulting practice based in Paris and Washington D.C., has completed projects in Europe, East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. “American architects and AIA members should be proud to have an especially qualified representative in Thomas Vonier, FAIA, to lead the global architectural association, the UIA,” said Robert Ivy, FAIA, AIA EVP/CEO. “Tom’s unique perspective and experience will help us all share the power of architecture worldwide.”  

Established in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1948, the UIA is recognized as a non-governmental organization by the United Nations. It works on matters of professional and public interest through three permanent commissions and various work programs. It is chartered to unite architects internationally, without regard to nationality, ethnicity, or political viewpoint.

“As Secretary General of the UIA for the past three years, Tom demonstrated strong leadership through a deep understanding of the international architecture community, and a clear vision for unity,” said 2017 First Vice President/2018 President Elect Carl Elefante, FAIA. “I look forward to the progress our community will make under his leadership."