Contact: Shannon Calder
Communications Director
(916) 642-1718


The American Institute of Architects California Announces New Leadership


SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The American Institute of Architects, California, (AIA CA), welcomes Brett Dougherty, AIA, as the 2021 President. Dougherty succeeds 2020 President, Debra Gerod, FAIA.

Dougherty is ready to tackle leading the nation’s largest AIA component through this uncharted time. From the challenges of life in a pandemic, to social justice and further equity in design, to the political upheaval this country continues to face, Dougherty served as AIA CA President-elect. He witnessed and participated in the conversations with leadership and with other members to help calm the anxiety of an unknown time.

Dougherty’s professional career spans over 20 years wherein he has worked in firms large and small.  In July of 2019, he was hired as a District Design Lead, based on his prior experience, a role which effectively serves as an Architect for Google as they continue to design and develop projects ranging from office campuses to urban mixed-use communities in the Bay area.

Although Dougherty is currently a member of AIA Silicon Valley, his leadership in the AIA began at his former local component in Orange County where he spent several years rising through a variety of positions until ultimately being elected President in 2017.  This journey led to his involvement with AIA CA and, ultimately, to his role in the organization today.

Prior to service as president-elect, and now President, Dougherty served as the Secretary/Treasurer on the AIA CA Executive Committee.

Installed in November 20 at the new AIA CA Headquarters in Sacramento, colleagues, friends, and family stepped in via a live virtual installation. Dougherty was surprised, honored, and humbled for the unexpected recognition, and began his inauguration speech with gratitude and thanks to all who had a hand in his career thus far.

He is committed to further uniting the voice of Architects and members in the collected mission. He plans to amplify the profession’s presence and voice and to take the lessons learned from 2020 and build on those.

“Collaboration is strong, despite the social distancing, and we need to keep that unification going if we are to keep the momentum we have now alive,” he said.

2021 promises to be a year of strength and positive movement, where solutions will be brought to the proverbial tables.

Stay tuned for regular messages from Dougherty.

For more information on any of the above information, contact 916.642.1718, or



The AIA CA represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California.  Founded in 1944, The AIA CA’s mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIA CA is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit



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