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Architecture & Engineering

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September 15, 2021

AIA Seattle + Seattle Design Festival


Melissa K. Neher is the new executive director at AIA Seattle and Seattle Design Festival. Neher has decades of experience in nonprofit leadership. She began her career as a social worker for adults with physical disabilities. Later as a social justice lawyer, Melissa advocated for under-served and marginalized communities, including asylum seekers and migrant workers. Most recently, she served as executive director of Architects Without Borders Seattle, an organization formed by a dedicated group of volunteers who came together under the umbrella of AIA to provide access to design to under-served communities.

Neher received her BA in Public Relations with a minor in Art History from James Madison University, and her Juris Doctorate from University of San Diego School of Law where she was a lead articles editor for San Diego Law Review and received the Outstanding Public Interest Advocate award.

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