The American Institute of Architects (AIA) inaugurated William J. Bates, FAIA, as its 96th president on Friday, Dec. 7.

“During my tenure as your president, and thereafter, I will focus on helping to make our profession one that welcomes and nurtures the talent of everyone who has a passion for design and who dreams of making our built world, and by extension our society, better,” said Bates. “My dream is for architects to lead efforts to create a more fair, sustainable and peaceful world that embraces all, and disenfranchises none.”

Bates’ many leadership positions and civic volunteer work have demonstrated the importance of connecting the built environment, communities and culture. He has served as AIA’s 2018 vice president and a member of AIA’s Board of Directors since 2011. He was also vice president and chair of the AIA Board Community Committee from 2015-2016. In 1991 and again in 2010, Bates served as president of AIA Pennsylvania and was also president of AIA Pittsburgh in 1987. He has chaired boards for Design Center Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation as well as the Green Building Alliance.

Bates recently retired from Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, where he was the vice president of real estate and responsible for the restaurant growth division. Previously, he managed the global design and construction of 1.4 million square feet of office, laboratory and manufacturing space with Marconi Communications, Inc. He was also an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Bates also studied graduate courses in Construction Management at both Pennsylvania State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

AIA elects its presidents on an annual basis. Bates will serve as the Institute’s president until Dec. 6, 2019. Complete details of AIA’s leadership are available online.