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GSA Chief Architect Shepherd Honored by American Institute of Architects

Recognized by Peers as having a Positive Influence on Public Architecture

GSA #10660

January 19, 2010
Contact: Maryanne Beatty, (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON — In the midst of a renaissance for federal government buildings nationwide, the American Institute of Architects has recognized Leslie Shepherd, Chief Architect of the U.S. General Services Administration, as a recipient of the prestigious 2010 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture.

Shepherd is one of three recipients of the award this year, recognized by his peers for having a vital and positive influence on architecture’s interaction with the public at large.

“This is a great honor for Les, as well as for GSA,” said Robert A. Peck, Commissioner of Public Buildings. “Public buildings are the visible and practical symbol of our democracy in America's communities, and Les's commitment to high-quality design and productive workplaces is evident in federal buildings across the country.”

As GSA’s Chief Architect, Shepherd leads the Design Excellence Program, a highly acclaimed project under the umbrella of the Public Services Building that attracts and retains some of the nation’s brightest architects and engineers. With more than 21 years of federal service to GSA, Shepherd continues to ensure that the award-winning building projects under his guidance yield high marks in construction, architecture, and performance. Just recently, Shepherd was at the helm of the design and construction of the LEED-Gold border station in Calais, Maine that earned widespread approval from national and state officials alike.

One of Shepherd’s colleagues, Hugh Hardy of H3 Hardy Collective Architecture, also praised his steadfast commitment to architecture, stating the award “represents Shepherd’s worthy continuation of the architectural challenge presented by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.” Moynihan authored the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, issued by President Kennedy in 1962, that called on the government to embrace the best in American architectural thought.

Since their inception in 1992, the Thomas Jefferson Awards have recognized public or private sector architects or individuals who have designed exemplary public facilities, overseen or created designs of high caliber within their own agencies, or used their role as a pillar to advance the public’s appreciation of design excellence.

Based in Washington, the AIA has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. With nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA serves as the voice of the architecture profession and the resource for its members in service to society.


GSA provides a centralized delivery system of products and services to the federal government, leveraging its enormous buying power to get the best value for taxpayers.

  • Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars and $24 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 213,000 vehicles.
  • GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 480 historic properties, and as manager of, the official portal to federal government information and services.
  • GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.

Did You Know? GSA established the Design Excellence Program in 1994 based on the 1962 Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, producing facilities that reflect the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the federal government.

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