Emerging Leader Award

Developing young leaders is critical to the future of AIA Potomac Valley. The Emerging Leader Award, introduced in 2018, will recognize the contributions and achievements of an individual member in good standing of the AIA Potomac Valley chapter who:

  • is either an Associate AIA member or an AIA Architect member who has been registered 10 years or less,
  • exemplifies the highest qualities of leadership, and
  • has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to the AIA Potomac Valley chapter, to the design and construction industry, to the community, and/or to other professional organizations.

Individuals who are current members of the Chapter board or members of the Awards Committee are not eligible for this award until one year after their term of service ends.

Nominations are due by Thursday, August 1 at 11:59 PM. The award will be presented at the chapter's annual design awards celebration in October.


2018 Emerging Leader Award Recipient

Melissa R. Daniel, Associate AIA, Staff Architect at WDG Architecture, received the Chapter’s inaugural Emerging Leader Award at the 2018 Design + Leadership Gala on Friday, October 12 at The Hotel at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Since 2013, Daniel has ensured that women in architecture have an established platform to tell their stories. She founded a Women in Architecture lecture series for the D.C. metro area, developed fluency with social media and web platforms to boost her storytelling and empowerment capabilities, and served as executive co-chair of the 2017 AIA Women’s Leadership Summit. In that role, Daniel managed the summit’s social media accounts and boosted participation through strategic content development, including video, that highlights women’s leadership.  

Beyond the profession, Daniel has been a member of the steering committee for She Should Run Frontrunners, a nonprofit that encourages women to run for public office.

Focused and, most importantly, fearless, Daniel clearly represents the next generation of leadership in architecture and practice. She has influenced the national discussion regarding equitable representation, a trend that is sure to continue as she moves toward licensure and beyond.