Today, The American Institue of Architects named Carole Wedge, FAIA, the recepient of the 2020 Edward C. Kemper Award, named after the AIA’s first executive director (1914 to 1948). Nearly every year since 1950, the program has recognized an architect who has broadly contributed to the profession through his or her work with AIA. President and CEO of Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch, Wedge is known for her leadership and advocacy for diversity and transparency.

“Carole is such a positive and powerful role model, so steadfastly committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion, in her service and in her firm leadership,” wrote Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, 2006 AIA president, in a letter supporting Wedge’s nomination. “To take Shepley Bulfinch, a leading, 150-year-old firm, to national certification as a woman-owned business, with majority female leadership, is a hugely important example in and for the profession. She has shown us all what is possible, and that diversity and inclusion are good for business.”

Wedge, who began her career in the Shepley Bulfinch mailroom more than 30 years ago, has served as president of the firm for the last 15 years. Concurrently, she worked with AIA and local components, contributing to national conventions since 2007. As the chair of the 2008 convention in Boston, Wedge helped raise almost $1 million in scholarships for emerging professionals to attend. In 2009, she was selected as one of seven women from the Boston Women Principals Group to pilot the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, which is now in its 10th year. In 2012, Wedge won the Boston Society of Architects’ Women in Design Award. She has served as the chair of AIA’s Large Firm Round Table, a committee of the 60 largest firms in the country, since 2017.

“She exudes passion for the idea that our profession can only be enhanced when opportunities are available to cultivate and include the creative talent currently untapped for reasons long ignored. Carole continues to speak and engage many AIA members in this dialogue,” wrote Robert L. Easter, AIA, in a letter supporting Wedge’s nomination. “Carole is helping our profession to see the connections that must be made now and into the future so that we may have a measurable impact and achieve a profession that has the demographic of the communities that we serve.”

For more on Wedge's leadership strategy, read her ARCHITECT op-ed from earlier this year and listen to her interview on the ARCHITECT Podcast Network.

This year's jury comprised chair Timothy C. Hawk, FAIA, WSA Studio; Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, Brooks + Scarpa; Peter MacKeith, Assoc. AIA, University of Arkansas; Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, Gensler; and Julia Laue, AIA, Bureau of Architecture, San Francisco Public Works.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.