2023 LAI International Member of the Year: Richard A. Wilson, AIA, AICP


LAI International Member of the Year 2023

Richard A. Wilson, AIA, AICP

City Design Director

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture


The Board of Governors extends its congratulations to Richard A. Wilson who has been nominated by the Ely Chapter and selected by the International Awards Committee as the 2023 International Member of the Year. Richard has been a member of LAI for 17 years.

In an enthusiastic nomination, his work was lauded as the first two-year president of the Ely Chapter that coincided with two years of the Covid pandemic. The Ely board noted that he did an incredible job keeping the chapter vibrant and financially stable, stating “Richard put all of us on his back and got us through Covid together.” He was also instrumental in increasing corporate sponsorship levels, which allow the chapter to keep its membership dues and event prices stable despite rapidly increasing venue costs. Richard also initiated a new annual event for convening past presidents with the current Board to discuss initiatives and seek input. This event is a highlight for many for the camaraderie and continuity it instills.

Richard’s presidential term was not only characterized by the good health of the chapter, but also by a genuine attention to the core values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). He did not shy away from honest discussions about Ely Chapter demographics and land economic policy impacts on society, while handling tough conversations with his natural and sincere disposition and with great personal integrity.

Thanks to Covid, he helped plan for not one, but two, Land Economics Weekends, both of which were subsequently canceled due to Covid.

Bringing experience from his successful management of the Ely Chapter, he now serves as International Secretary and is playing an integral role in the development and execution of the 2023-27 LAI Strategic Plan. Having Co-Chaired the Strategic Plan Vision, Mission, Principles and Goals committee, he garnered valuable insights from a wide representation of the honorary society about the opportunities and challenges facing LAI as it steers toward its 100-year anniversary.

Perhaps most impressively, Richard performed this work for LAI while leading an international urban design practice. His impressive career spans 30 years of global planning, design and construction experience throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe, India and the Middle East.

This International Member of the Year award will be presented at the Fall 2023 Land Economics Weekend in Barcelona, Spain, and comes with the thanks and best wishes of his colleagues and friends throughout LAI.

Submitted by Jim Fawcett, LAI Awards Chairman



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