The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced that The New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas Friedman will be the keynote speaker for the 2011 AIA National Convention and Design Expo, May 12–14 in New Orleans. Themed "Regional Design Revolution: Ecology Matters," the 2011 convention offers numerous educational and networking opportunities for architects of all stripes, with a selection of seminars, tours, workshops, and events specifically designed to interest residential architects.

A foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, Friedman has authored several books, including the 2008 Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why we need a green revolution—and how it can renew America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), upon which much of his keynote is based. Friedman's address to the AIA 2011 Convention, "Megaregions: The World of the Future," complements the conference theme by speaking to the global impacts, benefits, and challenges of ever-expanding city networks (megaregions) that share economies, ecosystems, and transportation systems and by exploring the ways America can regain its competitiveness in the world market by investing in infrastructure, education, immigration, and the environment.

The AIA 2011 Convention keynote address will take place at 8:15 a.m. on May 12. Attendees can accrue one AIA learning unit hour. Visit for more conference details.