The GSA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The GSA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

On May 23, a posting appeared on the federal service recruitment website for "Chief Architect, Public Buildings Service." The position, which Leslie Shepherd, FAIA, has held since 2007, is among the most powerful architectural roles in government. Shepherd did not immediately respond for comment prior to publication.

The Public Buildings Service is the real estate branch of the General Services Administration, which also manages "private sector professional services, equipment, supplies, and IT to government organizations and the military," according to the agency website. In its role as the so-called "nation's landlord," the Public Buildings Service maintains "an inventory of more than 376.9 million square feet of workspace for 1.1 million federal employees."

The posting summarizes the chief architect's role as follows: "The incumbent provides visionary, national leadership and high level technical policy direction for the agency regarding design quality and innovation, design excellence, and cost effectiveness in Federal design." For those interested, the salary range is listed as $123,175 to $170,400, relocation expenses may be paid, and an architectural license is required.

Before Shepherd, the position was held by Ed Feiner, FAIA, the cowboy boot-wearing architect who dramatically reshaped the way GSA procures design services to emphasize design quality. Feiner now works at Perkins+Will as director of the firm's design leadership council.

ARCHITECT will provide updates as more information becomes available.