2024 Emerging Leaders Program Kicks Off in February

AIA Dallas leadership recognizes that for the profession to advance the need for architect leaders is increasingly important. Professional education for architects largely focuses on the work and study of the profession, rather than leadership. AIA Dallas has changed this focus to include leadership development and has been recognized nationally for their innovation in this area.

Since 2009, the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) has provided a forum for participants to enhance their abilities in four areas of leadership: firm leadership, community leadership, project and team leadership, and personal leadership. Now, as new challenges arise, new modules have been added to address leadership challenges, including time management, ethics, social media, sustainability, and inclusion. The successful participant will develop their own unique leadership roadmap to directly address individual and team needs that ill elevate them to the next level as a manager and a leader.

The content of the award-winning program has been reformatted to include some of the content in pre-session exercises, while adding important topics for today's leaders. Here is what can be expected:

  • February 1st Kickoff & Alumni Reception
  • February 2nd Session – The Architect as Leader
  • March 1st Session – Community & Civic Engagement
  • April 5th Session – Firm & Project Leadership
  • May 3rd Session – Influence without Authority
  • June 7th Session – Hot Topics
  • July 12th Session – Bringing it All Together

Pre-session exercises may include podcasts, articles, or other specific exercises. Each session will conclude with an optional reflection tackling specific leadership issues. More details are available in the brochure.

Sessions will take place on Friday afternoons, noon - 5:00pm, starting with a provided lunch. The location will vary, however, the kickoff and first session will be held at AD EX.


2024 Facilitator: Suzanne Smith, MBA, CEO, Social Impact Architects

Suzanne Smith serves as a coach and consultant for social organizations seeking to maximize the impact of their social strategies and achieve real, measurable results. Having spent the greater part of the past three decades generating innovative and breakthrough social ideas, she has been widely recognized for her success in building and implementing award-winning programs and initiatives within the social sector. The daughter of two career educators, she has deep expertise in the social sector locally and nationally. Suzanne holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where she was a CASE (Center for
the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) scholar. 

Outside of Social Impact Architects, Suzanne holds a research fellowship at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University and is an adjunct professor in the school of management at the University of Texas at Arlington and SMU. She is also a member of the prestigious Society of Organizational
Learning (founded by Peter Senge).

Suzanne also authors Social TrendSpotter (@socialtrendspot), one of the sector’s top blogs according to the Huffington Post. Known for its relatable way of blending important concepts and new ways of working with storytelling, Social TrendSpotter has been hailed by readers as “the only blog I read each week.” She is frequently interviewed by regional and national media on social issues and social entrepreneurship and has published articles in Forbes, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, See Change, Nonprofit Business Advisor, Upstart and Grantmakers in Health. For her outstanding work as a leading thinker, she was recognized with the Next
Generation Social Entrepreneur Award by the Social Enterprise Alliance.

Suzanne is a dedicated community leader herself and worn many hats, including serving the City of Dallas on a number of boards and commissions and working pro-bono/low-bono with many projects and nonprofits across North Texas.


ELP Brochure [PDF 704.18 KB]