Cheryl McAfee, FAIA

CEO & principal

Cheryl McAfee has spent her career breaking down racial barriers and championing diversity in architecture. With nearly 40 years of trailblazing in the design industry, she’s bringing passion, energy, and experience to Day 3 as part of a unique keynote panel, Anticipate Change: What’s Next in Architecture.

As CEO and principal of McAfee3, Cheryl creates vision and a management structure to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the design and construction market place. With offices in Atlanta, Dallas, and Wichita, McAfee3 provides design services nationally.

Cheryl is currently principal architect for several major projects including the new 25,000 sq. ft. library for South Fulton, Georgia. From 2000–2013, she served as principal architect on a master planning and design joint venture for the $7 billion expansion of the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s most traveled airport. She was the senior program manager of design and construction for all 33 sports venues of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 2013, Cheryl was selected “Woman of the Year” by the Atlanta Business League. Her project experience includes major planning, programming and urban design studies, feasibility studies, and real estate investment programs.

A career of firsts

Inspired by her father, Charles McAfee, FAIA, and growing up during the 1960s, when Civil Rights laws were just being enacted, Chery has made a career out of trailblazing.

She was the first African-American woman in Kansas history to receive a license in architecture. Her firm is the first—and only—in AIA history in which a father and his two daughters are AIA Fellows. She was the first African-American to chair the AIA Conference on Architecture in Boston in 2008. And, she was the first woman to be elected president of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

“I have such a passion for justice…I try to figure out what I can do to make a difference—and how I can make a difference as an architect.”

Keynote details

Cheryl shares the keynote stage with Nóra Demeter, Int’l. Assoc. AIA; Michael Ford, Assoc. AIA; and moderator Frances Anderton on Day 3, right before Amy Cuddy’s presentation on the power of change. Don’t miss this exciting event on Saturday, April 29.

See this panel:
Saturday, 12:30pm, Hall C
Anticipate Need: What’s Next in Architecture




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