Today, the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY), the AIA’s largest and oldest chapter, named Jesse Lazar as its new executive director. Lazar will take the helm at AIA New York and the Center for Architecture. Lazar’s appointment comes as no surprise; he served in an interim capacity in the role since February, when former executive director Ben Prosky left to take on a new position as president of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.
“We cannot imagine working with anyone other than Jesse Lazar, who knows our two institutions better and who has the ability and vision to help us shape our next steps,” said Board of Trustees Chair for the Center for Architecture; and Founding Partner of Sage and Coombe Architects, Jennifer Sage in a statement.
Lazar has been active with both AIANY and CFA for a number of years. Since 2014 he has led all fundraising and capital campaigns for the two professional organizations, first in the role of development director. In his tenure he raised over $20 million for the organizations, while playing an integral role in the success of the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York. Prior to his advancement to executive director this past February, he served as deputy director of the two organizations.
In an announcement sharing the appointment, AIANY said the news comes as the organizations “embark on ambitious new strategic planning processes.” It added that it hopes to increase AIANY membership, expand programming at the CFA, and hire more staff to support these goals.
“I’ve worked with Jesse Lazar on and off at the Center for Architecture since 2008,” said Matthew Bremer, president of AIANY and founder and principal of Architecture in Formation. “I also have the mindset that institutions are generally best served by looking outside themselves for fresh leadership and vision, except in exceptional cases. Well, Jesse is simply exceptional. At a time when both AIANY and the Center for Architecture stand well positioned to grow in service to New York, the profession, and the public, Jesse possesses the unique experience, acumen, and tenacity to steer this growth.”