Webinar - Representing US: Evolution of U.S. Embassy Design

  • Date

    Monday, June 29 2020

  • Time


  • Location


The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) supports and maintains a secure and resilient platform for the U.S. government’s diplomatic missions overseas. As the single real property manager, OBO designs, constructs, and manages U.S. embassies and consulates in 289 locations.  This portfolio includes over $8 billion of projects in design and $12 billion in construction; and over 80 million square feet of owned and leased office and residential property. 

OBO’s design leadership will present the evolution of U.S. Embassy design, the current focus and priorities of the organization, and opportunities for American architects to engage in this important work representing the U.S. to the world. The session will also present the newly completed embassy in Niamey, Niger as a case study demonstrating how the architects addressed complex cultural, geopolitical, and environmental challenges through sustainable and resilient design strategies.   

Organized by: AIA|DC Public Architects Committee

Presented by:

Curtis Clay is the Director of Architecture at the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.  Mr. Clay is responsible for overseeing a wide range of architectural project design functions that support the design, construction, and renovation of diplomatic posts overseas. Mr. Clay is a licensed architect in Virginia and the District of Columbia and supervises all phases of architectural design and construction.  He has over 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry including government, commercial, institutional, and private work.  

Minh Le has been a Design Manager at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations since 2007 and has served as the acting Director of Architecture. Mr. Le maintains a portfolio worth over $3 billion of diplomatic capital construction projects in Africa and East Asia Pacific, including the new U.S. Embassy in Niger. Mr. Le is a licensed architect in DC, Virginia, and Maryland with over 20 years of experience including government, commercial, and residential work.

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the architectural history of U.S. Embassy design, beginning in 1790 through present day;

  • Explain the current priorities, initiatives, and goals of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations;

  • Describe the technologies and strategies used to meet the Department’s goal of secure and resilient designs; and

  • Explore the opportunities for American architects to work with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.