Emerging Leaders

Launched in 2017, the BWAF Emerging Leaders program is a selective professional development opportunity for early- and mid-career women. Within a small group format, participants engage with significant senior women in architecture, design, engineering, construction, real estate, law, and financial services to advance their own career goals and connect with a cohort of ambitious colleagues across at similar professional levels. Participants share common experiences and trade personal strategies for advancing their field. Over 200 women have participated in past cohorts, building a timeless network of allies and support for each other.

Applications for the Fall program are now closed

Imagination, Integrity, Influence

In response to the coronavirus outbreak and federal guidance on gatherings, the 2020 and current 2021 Emerging Leaders programs are being hosted as virtual sessions with inspirational speakers, and limited to 20 participants. We are offering the program at a reduced total cost of $300 per participant.


Katherine Chia, FAIA
Founding Principal

Follow the dynamic career of Katherine Chia, Founding Principal of Desai Chia Architecture, who has turned her creativity to collaborations with artists, product design, and being a design award winning architect. Cultivate your imagination, and channel it into success.

Time and location

When: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 6:30-8PM
Virtual Session


Peter DiMaggio
Co-CEO, Thornton Tomasetti Inc

Whether it is in structural design or on the soccer pitch, hear how personal integrity is the core of success from Peter DiMaggio, Co-CEO at Thornton Tomasetti, expert in blast design, and lead engineer on US embassies in Moscow, Berlin and Baghdad.

Time and location

When: Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 6:30-8PM
Virtual Session


Diana Zakem
Director, Construction, Brookfield Properties US Division

In this time of "influencers" how do we separate the sound from the noise? What is really influencing your career decisions? Join Diana Zakem, Director, Construction, US Division at Brookfield Properties, an alumna of the first class of Emerging Leaders, to hear how The Knitting Club casual get togethers have expanded her influence.

Time and location

When: Tuesday November 16, 2021, 6:30-8PM
Virtual Session

View previous sessions from recent years:
2023: Detours, Diligence, Dreams→
2023: Energy, Environment, Engagement→
2022: Agility, Ambition, Authenticity→
2021: Perseverance, Politics, Power→
2020: Priorities, Personhood, Profit→
2020: Determination, Design, Disruption→
2019: Confidence, Compensation, Competition→
2018: Finance, Fulfillment, Family→
2018: Networking, Negotiation, Nice→
2017: Risk, Rain-Making, Resilience→

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Please make your check payable to:
Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation

Please mail your check to:
Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation
424 W 33rd St., unit 280
New York, NY 10001

All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged and are 100% tax deductible.