Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, CCM, LEED AP
On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Stephen T. Ayers to serve as the 11th Architect of the Capitol. On May 12, 2010, the United States Senate, by unanimous consent, confirmed Mr. Ayers, and on May 13, 2010, the President officially appointed Mr. Ayers to a 10-year term as Architect of the Capitol.
Mr. Ayers is responsible for facilities maintenance and operation of the historic U.S. Capitol Building, the care and improvement of more than 570 acres of grounds and the operation and maintenance of 18.4 million square feet of buildings including: the House and Senate Congressional Office Buildings, the Capitol Visitor Center, the Library of Congress Buildings, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building and other facilities. He is responsible for the care of all works of art in the Capitol under the direction of the Joint Committee on the Library and is responsible for the maintenance and restoration of murals, outdoor sculpture and other architectural elements throughout the Capitol complex. He also serves as Acting Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Garden.
The Architect of the Capitol is a member of the Capitol Police Board and the Congressional Accessibility Services Board, as well as an ex officio member of the United States Capitol Preservation Commission. Additionally, the Architect of the Capitol is a member of the District of Columbia Zoning Commission, the President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Capital Memorial Commission, the Art Advisory Committee to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the National Institute for Conservation of Cultural Property.
Under Mr. Ayers' leadership, the Architect of the Capitol oversaw the restoration of the U.S. Capitol Dome, restoring it to its original splendor. He also led the restoration of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, a campus-wide effort to restore and repair deteriorating stone façades and launched the renewal of the Cannon House Office Building, a century-old building that is plagued with serious deficiencies. Mr. Ayers has also, through a variety of initiatives, reduced carbon emissions, improved energy efficiency and implemented sustainable design practices throughout the Capitol complex.
Mr. Ayers is also committed to supporting small businesses to help facilitate competition and support local communities and has implemented several programs to actively award contracts to companies that reflect the diversity of our country. The Architect of the Capitol has approximately 2,100 employees and an annual budget of nearly $600 million.
Mr. Ayers completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture at the University of Maryland, received his Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Design by the Boston Architectural College in recognition of his service as a champion of historic preservation, great public design and sustainability. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Maryland School of Architecture and is a licensed architect in California. The University of Maryland School of Architecture presented him the Distinguished Alumni Award and awarded him the Sigma Delta Tau Silver Medal for Distinction in Architecture. He is a licensed architect in California.
After attending Officers Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Mr. Ayers was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and assigned to Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, California. While stationed at Edwards, he served as a Staff Architect and Design Team Chief with the 6510th Civil Engineer Squadron. Mr. Ayers was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his military service and after five years of active duty, decided to pursue a career in public service in another way.
After working in the architectural and engineering community in the Washington, D.C., area, Mr. Ayers joined the Voice of America in Washington, D.C., as a General Engineer in 1991. In 1992, he transferred to Rhodes, Greece, to lead design and construction efforts at several Voice of America sites in Greece and Germany.
Returning to the United States in 1997, Mr. Ayers joined the Architect of the Capitol as an Assistant Superintendent for the Senate Office Buildings. He served in several capacities over the next decade, including Deputy Superintendent for the Senate Office Buildings, Superintendent of the Library Buildings and Grounds, Acting Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer. He filled the role of Acting Architect from February 2007 until his appointment as Architect of the Capitol in May 2010.
Mr. Ayers is a member and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the George Washington Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. He is also a Certified Construction Manager and an Accredited Professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
His other professional memberships include: ACE Mentor Program of the Greater Washington Area, Inc., where he serves on the Board of Directors; Construction Industry Institute; Construction Management Association of America, currently serving on the Board of Directors; Construction Users Roundtable, serving on the Board of Trustees; National Building Museum Board of Trustees; National Institute of Building Sciences, serving on the Board of Directors; University of Maryland School of Architecture Board of Visitors; and the Washington Building Congress Board of Governors.
Mr. Ayers is the recipient of the Construction Industry Institute's 2011 Carroll H. Dunn Award for Excellence. The National Academy of Construction elected Mr. Ayers as a member of its 2013 class for transforming project delivery processes at the U.S. Capitol and caring for the nation's historic treasures through inspired leadership, extraordinary vision and personal commitment. Mr. Ayers was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.