The AIA New York Board of Directors and the Center for Architecture Board of Trustees announced today that Executive Director Ben Prosky is leaving his role. Prosky, who led the professional organizations for seven years, has accepted a new position at “private foundation” with more details forthcoming. During his tenure Prosky established a new framework and a number of new programs for both the AIA New York (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture (CFA).
Prosky was named Executive Director in February 2016. Previously he was the cofounder of online architecture media platform Architizer and held other education and institutional positions, including at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the French Institute of Architecture, and worked as Assistant Dean for Communications at Harvard Graduate School of Design.
In his time at AIANY and CFA Prosky led an initiative to “clarify the visions” of the professional organizations and helped to spearhead a redesign of the website and digital strategy. He also worked with AIA National to bring the 2018 Conference on Architecture to New York for the first time in 20 years; over 25,000 architects attended the event.
Among the new programming and funds created during Prosky’s tenure were the Civic Leadership Program, the AIANY Future of Practice Committee, the AIANY Political Action Committee, the CFA Patrons Circle, the AIANY 2030 Fund, and the CFA Anniversary Fund. Under his leadership the popular Archtober took off and in a major first, foundations, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, supported the Center for Architecture with grant funding. Prosky successfully kept the organizations afloat throughout the pandemic, notably during the 18-month period when all programming and events were virtual.
“Serving the members of AIA New York and the broader architectural community via the Center for Architecture’s extensive programs has been an honor,” said Prosky in a statement. “The collaborative work we have undertaken during my seven-year tenure to address the priorities of the design community in New York through education and government advocacy have been impactful, successfully making the argument that good design improves lives. As much as design excellence has been a priority for this community, I was continually reminded that our concerns are not only about buildings; equally important is the wellbeing of the people who design buildings, as well as the people who live, learn, work, heal, and recreate in them. Lastly, while we have addressed many serious issues together, I am proud that our community also takes the time to celebrate the sheer joy and wonder of design! With much to be proud of and much I will miss—and immense confidence in your collective future—I bid AIA New York and the Center for Architecture good-bye!”
Prosky’s last day at AIANY and CFA is February 3. As the organizations begin the search for his successor, AIANY and CFA Deputy Director Jesse Lazar will assume the role of Interim Executive Director.
“We thank Ben for his leadership and achievements, which have created a strong foundation for the continued success of our organizations,” said 2023 President of AIA New York Matthew Bremer. “As we embark on a search for new leadership, the AIA New York Board of Directors are confident in the abilities of our talented, dedicated staff to continue the work of advocating for the importance of architecture and design in NYC.”