At a ceremony last week at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., the AIA inaugurated its new president: Mickey Jacob, FAIA, the managing principal at Urban Studio Architects in Tampa, Fla. The institute’s 89th president, Jacob succeeds Jeff Potter, FAIA.

Jacob will be charged with helping oversee the “Repositioning the Profession” communications initiative that Potter helped launch during his tenure. The repositioning agenda, which is being developed through comprehensive input and engagement with AIA members, seeks to hone the institute’s mission and response to the numerous challenges currently facing the profession. (Read ARCHITECT editor-in-chief Ned Cramer's take here.) The initial recommendations from the initiative are scheduled to be released early next year. 

In comments released by the AIA, Jacob spoke especially about the need to mentor young architects, to help them rise to leadership positions: “I look forward to working together to harness our power to shape the future of the architecture profession, with a priority on building leadership and enhancing the impact and role of our emerging professionals,” he said.

Jacob also cited among his priorities the need for the AIA to continue to lobby for smart and effective local and federal legislation related to design, as well as a continued emphasis on spreading the message about the role design plays in developing livable and sustainable communities that are not only resistant to natural disasters, but that are also affordable and available for all.

Jacob has held numerous AIA positions during his 25-year career, serving as AIA Florida president in 2004 and 2005, AIA Florida/Caribbean regional director on the AIA National Board of Directors from 2007 to 2009, and AIA vice president in 2009 and 2010.

Jacob received his bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy in 1981, began practicing in Tampa, and in 1989 formed Urban Studio Architects with his partners. Jacob helps oversee the business operations and strategic direction for the firm, which brings a focus on sustainable design practices to its portfolio of residential, interiors, and hospitality projects.