AIANY Names David Burney Interim Executive Director

Following the resignation of Rick Bell, FAIA, from his position as executive director of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture, David Burney, FAIA, has been named interim executive director. Burney will serve in this post until the organization hires a permanent executive director.

Burney is an architect, urbanist, and educator, and is credited with raising architecture standards for New York’s public projects through his leadership of two city agencies. He served as the Commissioner of the City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) from 2004 to 2014. In 2006, he launched the DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence Initiative to ensure the quality of municipal public works. From 1990 to 2003, Burney was director of design at the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA). Previously, he practiced architecture with the firm Davis Brody Bond.

Burney is currently an Associate Professor of Planning and Placemaking at the Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and serves as Board Chair for the Center for Active Design.

“David Burney’s vast experience leading City agencies and his legacy of improving the quality of public projects in New York will be an invaluable asset to AIANY as we work with the current administration on issues concerning creating affordable housing and reducing carbon emissions, among others,” said AIANY President Tomas Rossant, AIA. “David is a tremendous design professional and we’re excited to have him onboard in this capacity.”

“We are grateful to have such an accomplished architect and public servant as David Burney step in to help lead the organization as we search for our next Executive Director,” said Center for Architecture President Joseph F. Tortorella, PE, in a release. “Burney transformed public architecture in this City and shares AIANY’s and the Center’s commitment to fostering design excellence to enhance the lives of all New Yorkers.”

“I am honored to join AIANY and the Center for Architecture as interim Executive Director,” said Burney. “I have been a member, friend and partner of the Chapter and the Center for a long time and look forward to helping these respected organizations continue their positive impact on the built environment in New York City during this transition period.”

The release also included a statement from Rick Bell regarding his departure: “The fourteen years at AIANY have been a wonderful part of my life, but it is now time to move on to undertake new opportunities. I am proud to have helped create the Center for Architecture which has grown into a meeting place and community center for all in the design professions, and which brings in architectural enthusiasts from around the world. I express my thanks and admiration for all of the hardworking staff and for the inspirational boards both past and present who have allowed me the privilege of being at this remarkable place.”