April C. Drake, AIA, LEED AP ID+C
With over 10 years of educational, government and commercial project experience, April leads multidisciplinary teams through all stages of design, while also performing a dual management role on projects under 25,000 square feet. She has designed more than 500,000 square feet of public and private sector space, including local and national projects. April has a vast knowledge of construction systems, strong technical abilities and keen design sensibilities.
She is a skilled facilitator and is well-known for her dedication to both collaboration and communication, which serves her well in her duties as project manager and project architect.
April is especially passionate about her mentorship role in promoting the growth of women in architecture and allied fields. She points to studies that show that 42 percent of architecture graduates are female, but only 15 to 18 percent are license practitioners or senior leaders in the industry. In order to bridge the gap, she argues, we must encourage women within the field, provide them with proper mentors and fight for equal pay. To that end, April is an active participant in the AIA Northern Virginia (NOVA) Women in Architecture Committee, where she currently serves as chair. The committee champions advancement of women in the profession throughout Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
April also dedicates her efforts toward creating events geared toward introducing young girls to Architecture. In 2015, she started a STEM event for local Girl Scout Troops. Through a series of both collaborative and individual hands-on activities each girl is able to explore aspects of architecture while also earning a STEM patch for their vest.
One of only approximately 300 African American licensed woman architects in the country, April is committed to influencing the path to licensure. Since 2014, she has volunteered with NCARB on a number of task forces developing the new ARE 5.0 Exam. She currently serves on NCARB’s Examination Committee, which is responsible for an ongoing strategic plan for all ARE exams.