On May 12, 2010, the United States Senate, by unanimous consent, confirmed Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, to be the 11th Architect of the Capitol.
"It is a wonderful honor and privilege to have been confirmed last night by the United States Senate to be Architect of the Capitol. I appreciate the trust the Congress has placed in me, and for the support it has given our organization, and I thank President Obama for nominating me. "I am extremely proud to have been selected to lead the AOC team. Our many accomplishments and successes have truly been a team effort. I look forward to the work and the challenges ahead," said Ayers.
Stephen T. Ayers has served as Acting Architect, heading up the 2,600-person Office of the Architect of the Capitol, since February 2007. On February 24, 2010, President Obama officially nominated him to be the next Architect of the Capitol.
Under Mr. Ayers' leadership, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol provided vital support for the 56th Presidential Inaugural ceremony in January 2009, construction was completed on the 415,000 square foot National Audio Visual Conservation Center and Library of Congress Book Storage Modules 3 and 4 at Fort Meade; adding another 76,400 square feet to the AOC's facilities inventory, and construction on the Capitol Visitor Center was completed and its doors were opened to the public on December 2, 2008.
He has implemented innovative tools and programs to make the AOC more effective in its ability to serve Congress and the American people, including strengthening its Strategic Plan. At a time when fiscal restraint is necessary, Mr. Ayers has worked with Congress to prioritize the deferred maintenance and capital renewal work needed to protect and preserve the Capitol and other historic buildings, and to ensure that the proper re-investment is made in our nations heritage assets.
In addition, Mr. Ayers signed into effect a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 626, and he has worked to secure a number of workforce flexibilities that are of great benefit to AOC employees, including implementing a Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules program Agency-wide. He also implemented a comprehensive workplace safety program which has consistently reduced injuries.
The AOC is responsible for the facilities maintenance and operation of the historic Capitol Building, the care and improvement of more than 450 acres of Capitol grounds, and the operation and maintenance of 16.5 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, U.S. Botanic Garden, and other facilities.
The Architect of the Capitol is appointed for a 10-year term by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate.Upon confirmation by the Senate, the person serving as Architect becomes an official of the Legislative Branch as an officer of Congress. The Architect is eligible for reappointment to another 10-year term after the completion of his first term.