Tiffany Brown
Q11 Photography Tiffany Brown

The following is a press release from the National Organization of Minority Architects naming Tiffany Brown, Assoc. AIA, as its new executive director. Brown also authored "Dismantle and Rebuild," an op-ed calling for architects to help abolish systemic racism, published in ARCHITECT's July 2020 issue.

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) announced Tiffany D. Brown, MBA, NOMA, Assoc. AIA, as the new Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based membership organization. NOMA is the largest minority architecture organization focused on the advancement and licensure of African American architects, as well as those from other underrepresented backgrounds. Brown is a passionate leader within NOMA and the architecture industry, recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) with 2020 Associates Awards for outstanding leadership and creative thinking in her communities and the architecture profession. She was awarded the same AIA Detroit and AIA Michigan honors just months prior. Brown has held local and national NOMA board leadership positions as well as co-founded the Detroit NOMA chapter in 2008. She is the recipient of NOMA’s 2020 Member of the Year Award

“At a time of many difficult transitions and decision making, Tiffany brings a wealth of understanding about the architecture profession, the unique needs of supporting minorities in the design community, and extraordinary organizational skills,” said Jason Pugh, AIA, AICP, LEED AP, NOMA President and Gensler Senior Associate. “Her communication skills, thought leadership, and creative thinking will allow for faster change and growth of NOMA programs while working with NOMA collaborators and partners across the country.”

As part of Brown’s duties, she oversees the management of programs including professional and student membership; oversight of the NOMA Foundation Fellowship (NFF), which is placing National Organization of Minority Architectures Students in virtual design and research fellowships; Project Pipeline architecture summer camps; President’s Circle, a corporate membership providing diversity training to architecture firms and allied businesses seeking to strengthen DEI efforts, the relaunch of NOMA’s jobs platform; and the annual NOMA National Conference celebrating its 50th year in Detroit this October. Brown also has oversight of NOMA employees and consultants. NOMA hired Tiffany Mayhew, Associate AIA, as Program Manager and Yolanda McQueen as Membership Coordinator. NOMA’s consultants include Joel Avery as chief information officer, Amber LaCroix is acting communications manager, and Marilyn Catinella as Executive Assistant.

“During these times, it’s even more important that we keep NOMA strong, and that includes our traditions and leadership, while making proper transitions to technology solutions and organizational structures,” said Brown. “I look forward to continuing to nurture NOMA’s new partnerships with the AIA, AIAS, NCARB, NAAB, and ACSA as we have officially joined these entities as the sixth organization shaping the profession of architecture. As we plan for the future, we need to keep making the necessary changes to help NOMA grow. This also means having a voice at the table to address the social issues that have been brought to the forefront.”

Brown is a co-founder of the Urban Arts Collective, a nonprofit focused on increasing underrepresented groups in careers in science, technology, engineering, art and architecture, and mathematics. Brown created 400 FORWARD, which aims to seek out and support the next 400 Black women architects in the U.S. by providing access to education on design through mentorship, programming and financial assistance. Her work with the organization was recently featured in a new documentary in partnership with Target, “Design for All.” Brown was most recently a Project Manager at SmithGroup in Detroit. Prior to joining SmithGroup, she worked at Hamilton Anderson Associates for 11 years. Brown earned her B.Arch, M.Arch and MBA from Lawrence Technological University.

This article has been updated to reflect Joel Avery's role as chief information officer.