The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women Board of Directors Announces M. Arthur Gensler Jr. as Honorar

Husband of beloved and visionary Initiative co-founder continues late wife’s commitment to education and gender equality.

PROVIDENCE, RI, Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women welcomes M. Arthur (Art) Gensler Jr., FAIA, FIIDA, RIBA as Honorary Chair of its Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 academic year! This announcement comes just months after the passing of Drucilla (Drue) Cortell Gensler, Art Gensler’s wife of nearly 60 years and a co-founder of the firm.

"Art joins The Initiative at a very exciting time in our history as we continue to honor the legacy of Drucilla (Drue) Cortell Gensler, former Chair of The Initiative’s Board of Directors and Advisory Board, during our Fifteenth Anniversary year," said Executive Director Christian Wistehuff, adding, "The Initiative's Fifteenth Anniversary year will witness the graduation of our 100th student as well as the launch of our new, one-year academic enrichment, professional mentorship and leadership certification program currently in development with Georgetown University's Center for Child and Human Development."

Art founded Gensler, the global architecture, design, planning and strategic consulting firm in 1965. From an office of three people in San Francisco, the firm has grown into one of the world’s leading architecture and design groups, with 5,000 people in 46 global locations. Gensler teams provide expertise in 20 practice areas – including workplace, retail, hospitality, education, brand design, and aviation and transportation – to international clients that span a wide range of industries. The firm is known for their design of many iconic interior and architectural projects around the globe, such as the Shanghai Tower, which will be the second tallest building in the world when completed. The reputation Gensler has secured as a model for the architectural profession in this new century led to its being named the American Institute of Architects’ Architectural Firm of the Year for 2000. Gensler is recognized as the #1 Architectural Firm in the country and for the past 30 consecutive years has been selected as the Most Admired Firm by its industry peers.

An architect by profession, Art is a graduate of Cornell University, which named him “Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1995. He currently serves on the Advisory Council of Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning. He has been a Visiting Professor at Cornell, the University of California at Berkeley, and Arizona State University. He is also a Trustee of the Buck Institute for Aging, the California College of the Arts, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

A founding member of the National AIA Committee on Interior Architecture, Art was elected to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects in 1980. A Fellow of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), he received with the organization’s prestigious Star Award in 1992 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the contract design industry. He is a charter member of Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals making outstanding contributions in the field of interior design. In 2009, Gensler was the first design firm to ever be inducted as a firm into the Hall of Fame.

Art is author with Michael Lindenmayer of Art's Principles, which reveals the blueprint behind one of the most successful professional services firms, giving career-minded individuals the tools they need to excel in business. The book covers the essentials of leadership, talent acquisition and operations, while outlining the creative strategies that propelled a small business into one of the largest and most admired in its industry.

About The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women

The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women is an education and leadership development program working to create the next generation of women leaders in Afghanistan. The Initiative partners with leading US colleges and universities to deliver higher education, as well as provides training and guidance for graduates helping other Afghan women assume leadership roles in their homeland. Established in 2003 as a grassroots non-profit organization, The Initiative is solely funded by private donations. Its mission and proven programs demonstrate the power an educated woman can and will use to create meaningful and lasting change in Afghanistan.

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Contact: Christian Wistehuff, Executive Director • • (954) 383-7884

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