Thomas Vonier

Last updated
Thomas Vonier
Alma mater Washington University in St. Louis
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Thomas Vonier (FAIA, RIBA) is a Paris-based architect and current president of the International Union of Architects.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

Architect Person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

The International Union of Architects is the only international non-governmental organization that represents the world's architects, now estimated to number some 3.2 million in all. The UIA was founded in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1948. The General Secretariat is located in Paris. It is recognized as the only global architecture organisation by most United Nations agencies, including UNESCO, UNCHS, ESOSOC, UNIDO, and the World Health Organization, as well as the WTO. The current (2017-2020) president is Thomas Vonier from the United States of America.



Vonier attended Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, earning a Master of Architecture.

Washington University in St. Louis university in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. As of 2017, 24 Nobel laureates in economics, physiology and medicine, chemistry, and physics have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university.

University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee only other research university in the system, abbreviated UWM or occasionally UW–M

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee is a public urban research university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It is the largest university in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and a member of the University of Wisconsin System. It is also one of the two doctoral degree-granting public universities and the second largest university in Wisconsin.

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) is a professional degree in architecture, qualifying the graduate to move through the various stages of professional accreditation that result in receiving a license.


Vonier was the founding president of AIA Continental Europe, one of the seven chapters of the American Institute of Architects (1994-1995). [1] He was the first president of the AIA International Region and chairman of the jury for Honorary Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. [2] In 2010, he was named AIA 2010-2012 board of directors, as the AIA's international director. [3] He became president of the AIA in 2017.

American Institute of Architects Professional association for architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image. The AIA also works with other members of the design and construction team to help coordinate the building industry.

Based in Paris and Washington D.C., Tom’s practice serves public and private clients with global industrial operations. He also works with municipalities to improve urban security. As a board certified security professional, Tom led groundbreaking research for US embassies and consulates, resulting in landmark recommendations to the Secretary of State and a new generation of design criteria. He was international advisor to the Federal Triangle planning project, which received a Presidential Design Award.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, D.C., or the district, is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Secretary of state (U.S. state government) official in the state governments of the United States

Secretary of state is an official in the state governments of 47 of the 50 states of the United States, as well as Puerto Rico and other U.S. possessions. In Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, this official is called the secretary of the commonwealth. In states that have one, the secretary of state is the chief clerk of the state, and is often the primary custodian of important state records. In the states of Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah, there is no secretary of state; in those states many duties that a secretary of state might normally execute fall within the domain of the lieutenant governor. Like the lieutenant governor, in most states the secretary of state is in the line of succession to succeed the governor, in most cases immediately behind the lieutenant governor. In three states with no lieutenant governor as well as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the secretary of state is first in the line of succession in the event of a gubernatorial vacancy.

Federal Triangle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

The Federal Triangle is a triangular area in Washington, D.C. formed by 15th Street NW, Constitution Avenue NW, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and E Street NW. Federal Triangle is occupied by 10 large city and federal office buildings, all of which are part of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site. Seven of the buildings in Federal Triangle were built by the U.S. federal government in the early and mid-1930s as part of a coordinated construction plan that has been called "one of the greatest building projects ever undertaken" and all seven buildings are now designated as architecturally historic. The Federal Triangle Washington Metro station serves Federal Triangle and the surrounding area.

With a group of young architects in Washington D.C., Vonier pioneered work in energy conscious design and the use of solar and wind energy. He was part of the team that received a P/A Design Award for the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. He received the Henry Adams Award for his research on public museums, completed under a fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

The Progressive Architecture Awards annually recognise risk-taking practitioners and seek to promote progress in the field of architecture. The editors of Progressive Architecture magazine hosted the first Progressive Architecture Award jury in 1954. In 1996, the magazine folded and the venue was taken over by Architecture magazine. In 2007, Architecture folded, and the awards were inherited by a new publication, titled ARCHITECT.

College of the Atlantic

College of the Atlantic (COA) is a private, liberal-arts college in Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine, United States. Founded in 1969, it awards bachelors and masters (M.Phil.) degrees solely in the field of human ecology, an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Focus areas include arts and design, environmental sciences, humanities, international studies, sustainable food systems, and socially responsible business.

Bar Harbor, Maine Town in Maine, United States

Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population is 5,235. Bar Harbor is a popular tourist destination in the Down East region of Maine and home to the College of the Atlantic, Jackson Laboratory, and MDI Biological Laboratory. Until a catastrophic fire in 1947, the town was a noted summer colony for the wealthy. Bar Harbor is home to the largest parts of Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain, the highest point within twenty-five miles (40 km) of the coastline of the Eastern United States. The town is served by the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, which provides year-round direct flights to Boston, Massachusetts.

An award-winning author on both architecture and security, Tom was the European correspondent for Progressive Architecture magazine, where his work was nominated for the Jesse H. Neal Award.

Vonier was also liaison delegate to the Architects' Council of Europe in Brussels. He was elected to serve as Secretary General of the International Union of Architects (UIA) [4] in Paris, and leads in its roles with UNESCO, the WTO and various world heritage and climate organizations. He has lectured widely on architecture, and served as a research affiliate with the Laboratory of Architecture and Planning at MIT.

The Architects' Council of Europe is a professional organisation of architects from Europe that aims to help advance architecture and maintain its quality. It was founded in 11 May 1990 in Treviso, Italy by the merger of two organisations: the Liaison Committee of the Architects of the United Europe and the Council of European Architects.

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris, France. Its declared purpose is to contribute to promoting international collaboration in education, sciences, and culture in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

Personal life

An avid cyclist, he followed the Tour de France and wrote about the experience for The Washington Post. [5]


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  1. "AIA Europe Member, Founder Inaugurated as 2017 AIA National President". AIA Continental Europe. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  2. National Fellowscope AIA Northwest and Pacific Region
  3. Member News: American Institute of Architects Names ASIS RVP Thomas Vonier as its International Director ASIS
  4. "Thomas Vonier, New President of the UIA | International Union of Architects". Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  5. "One Man's Tour de France Quest From a Spectator's Point of View, the Bicycle Race Requires Planning, Patience". 1987-07-05. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. AIA elevates 62 members to fellow Architectural Record