Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, CEO of Richter Architects in Corpus Christi, Texas, was inaugurated as the 91st president of the AIA during ceremonies held on Dec. 12, 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. She succeeds the 90th president, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, in representing over 85,500 AIA members.
“As architects, we use our creativity to serve society—to make our communities better places to live. Through our profession and our life’s work, each of us has shaped and re-shaped the ever-changing narrative that is America in both humble and spectacular ways,” said Richter, in the Portrait Gallery’s Kogod Courtyard, under Foster + Partners’ tessellated canopy. “We have created harmony where there was none. We have shown we can see what is not yet there. We have shown we have the courage to grow, to change and to renew ourselves.”
Born in Nanjing, China, Richter grew up in Hong Kong and Dallas, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974. In 2001, the American Institute of Architects conferred her with a national Young Architects Award in recognition of her community-sensitive designs and her leadership role in heightening the public’s awareness of regional and urban issues through her award-winning public radio series, “The Shape of Texas,” which ran from 1998 to 2011. In 2005, she was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in recognition of her contributions of national significance in making the profession of ever-increasing service to the society. Richter served as president of the Texas Society of Architects in 2007 and, most recently, as a regional director representing Texas on the AIA’s National Board of Directors.
In that time, Richter provided leadership to her firm, which received the 2011 Texas Society of Architects Firm Award.