Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation
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Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation Announces Creation of Designer Advisory Board 

Distinguished panel will advise on choice of designer as Foundation makes plans for Memorial at Site A on National Mall

Today the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation (GWOTMF) announced the creation of its Designer Advisory Board (DAB), a diverse panel of five nationally-recognized leaders in the fields of architecture and geography who will advise the Foundation in its selection of a designer for the Memorial. The creation of the DAB helps ensure that the Foundation’s evaluation efforts will be conducted according to the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness, and transparency. 

The DAB’s formation follows recent decisions from the Commission of Fine Arts (see here) and the National Capital Planning Commission (see here) to grant the Foundation authorization to begin designing a Memorial. Those authorizations also move the Foundation into steps 13-19 of the 24-step Memorial construction process after being in steps 9-12 since August of 2017.  

Location of Site A in Washington, D.C.

Foundation President and CEO Michael “Rod” Rodriguez said, “As the Foundation celebrates moving into the design phase for our Memorial, we are excited to announce the first steps in the selection of its designer. We are proud to say that we have assembled a board of distinguished experts whose experiences and backgrounds will ensure we honor the millions of participants in the Global War on Terrorism, their families, and America itself. The members of the Designer Advisory Board are well-respected among their peers and have decades of combined expertise in evaluating architecture and public memorials. Their world-class knowledge of what it takes to efficiently design and execute a Memorial that is feasible, tasteful, environmentally sustainable, and reverent will help inform the Board of Directors’ final decision on which designer will have this honor.” 

“The Board of Directors looks forward to working with the Designer Advisory Board to identify the best candidates to lead the design of a Memorial that all Americans can be proud of,” said GWOTMF Board Chairman Ted Skokos. “Given the importance of the Memorial as a place for service members and their families to honor, heal, be empowered, and unite, we are committed to identifying a designer that will properly translate that vision into a timeless work of public art and national commemoration. The Designer Advisory Board will help the Board of Directors evaluate potential partners with the utmost impartiality and professionalism – an approach that will also honor those who have already contributed to a Memorial funded exclusively by private donations.” 

Dean Peter MacKeith, Chair of the DAB, said, “On behalf of the Designer Advisory Board, we are deeply honored to have been asked to assist with the historic work of building a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall. We are dedicated to undertaking an impartial and rigorous review process that will lead to the selection of the ideal designer or design team for this nationally significant piece of architecture and landscape architecture. We are grateful to be able to use our gifts in service to country, just as all of those whom the Memorial will honor have done, and will continue to do.”

The members of the Designer Advisory Board are as follows:

Dean Peter MacKeith: Peter MacKeith, a nationally recognized design educator and administrator, is dean and professor of architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas, and serves that campus as Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Campus Architecture. MacKeith chairs the Design Excellence Committee for the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Initiative, a regional program of the Walton Family Foundation. He has held previous academic appointments at Washington University in St. Louis, the Helsinki (Finland) University of Technology, the University of Virginia, and Yale University.

Dr. Kenneth Foote: Dr. Kenneth Foote is the Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Connecticut. He has written extensively on American landscape history, including in his book Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy, which focuses on how violence and tragedy have been marked and memorialized in landscapes. He has served as president of both the National Council for Geographic Education (2006) and the American Association of Geographers (2010-11). He has received major national and international awards for his research, teaching, mentoring, and service from the American Association of Geographers, National Council for Geographic Education, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, and the Royal Geographical Society of the United Kingdom.

Mary Kay Lanzillotta: Mary Kay Lanzillotta is a partner at the firm of Hartman-Cox Architects, where she has worked since 1989. She has been responsible for managing complex institutional and historic projects in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country, including the renovation and restoration of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, the home of Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. She has also worked on the restoration of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the American Pharmacists Association building, and The Hay-Adams Hotel, all in Washington, D.C. 

Mia Lehrer: Mia Lehrer, FASLA, is president and founder of Studio-MLA, an international landscape architecture, planning, and urban design practice based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mia is recognized for a research-based design process that advocates for resilient and just relationships between individuals, communities, and nature. She has led ambitious public and private projects including Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium, Dallas’s Fair Park Community Park, San Francisco’s Levi’s Plaza, Los Angeles’ Natural History Museum and Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and many urban river-related civic projects in São Paulo, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and around the world. A native of El Salvador and educated at Tufts University and Harvard University GSD, she, and the firm received Fast Company’s 2023 Most Innovative Companies Award and the 2021 Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award. Mia is a Commissioner of the L.A. Department of Water and Power and served on President Obama’s U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 2014-2018.

Allison Grace Williams, FAIA: Allison Grace Williams is the founder of AGWms_studio, an architectural design consultancy. In her 40 years of practice prior to her firm, Williams practiced as a Senior Associate Partner in design with Skidmore Owings & Merrill, a Director of Design at Perkins+Will, and Vice President and Western Regional Design Director with AECOM.  Her portfolio includes projects such as the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise in Singapore, the New Calexico United States Port of Entry in California, The Princess Nora Abdulrahman University Health Sciences and Research Campus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and NASA’s Langley and Ames research laboratories.