The American Institute of Architects 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition will be held May 17-19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.

This year’s event has 200-plus planned program offerings, including preconvention workshops, theme presentations, continuing education learning units and expo education. The diversity of offerings, from business planning to marketing and business development, from zero net energy design to building codes, allows you to enhance your knowledge of design, practice management, and career development. Extending the learning opportunities beyond the convention center, AIA Washington D.C. 2012 will host a variety of educational tours that explore the city’s architecture.

Among this year’s speakers-a recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, an architect who currently serves as a Cabinet Secretary, and a special tribute honoring the architects involved in the rebuilding and memorials following September 11.

Keynote speaker on Thursday, May 17 is David McCullough, historian and famous author. David McCullough is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

McCullough shares his profound understanding of the cultural forces that have influenced architects and architecture in the United States since the founding of the AIA more than 150 years ago.

His most recent book, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” was a number one New York Times best seller. His previous work, “1776,” has been acclaimed “a classic,” while “John Adams,” published in 2001, remains one of the most praised and widely read American biographies of all time.

Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan   Is the second keynote speaker, on Friday, May 18. Donovan, an architect currently serving as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, looks ahead at ways the profession and practitioners can help lead the change in light of a slowly gaining economic recovery.

He has devoted his career to ensuring access to safe, decent, and affordable housing, and has continued that effort in the Obama Administration. Secretary Donovan believes that America's homes are the foundation for family, safe neighborhoods, good schools, and job creation.

His tenure as HUD Secretary has reflected his commitment to making quality housing possible for every American. Sworn in at a time when the foreclosure crisis had devastated American families, under Secretary Donovan’s leadership HUD has helped stabilize the housing market and worked to keep responsible families in their homes. The agency has instituted reforms that have solidified the Federal Housing Administration’s financial position and protected the taxpayer against risk, while still preserving FHA’s mission of providing responsible access to homeownership.

CONTINUING EDUCATION
Nearly 200 education sessions allow you to create a learning experience tailored to your own needs and interests-and earn all of your Learning Units in one place. Plus, you can choose from more than 70 sessions that meet your health, safety, and welfare and sustainable design requirements.

FULL CONVENTION PACKAGES
Registration includes most education seminars, AIA Expo and keynote presentations. Preconvention workshops, educational tours, and networking/business events are available at an additional cost.

This year at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition, the focus is on the value that making strong professional connections can have for you and for the profession as a whole. You can think of this as a national forum to meet in-person and discuss the topics that matter most to your career.

The theme this year, Design Connects, implies that in a world of individuals, we are actually stronger when we reach across boundaries and form as a collective. Design has the power to bring us together. Please come be a part of the interaction.

For the most up-to-date convention information and to register online, visit www.aiaconvention.com.

For more information about the American Institute of Architects, please call AIA Information Central at (800) 242-3837 or visit http://convention.aia.org/event/convention-home.aspx.