NAAB Leadership

The NAAB board has 13 voting members. ACSA, AIA, and NCARB each nominate three directors; AIAS nominates two; and there are two public directors. The Past President and Executive Director serve ex officio. The NAAB Board meets at least three times a year to consider official business including accreditation decisions.

The 2021-22 NAAB Officers and Directors are:

Rebecca O’Neal

O’Neal is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at Auburn University. She earned her M.Arch. from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and her undergraduate degree in interior design from Auburn University, where she was awarded the Mary Frances Carter Award. O’Neal served as associate dean for research and academic affairs (2006-2013) and interim dean (2011) for the College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC) at Auburn. She is the architecture senator for the Auburn University Faculty Senate and previously served as interior architecture program chair. O’Neal’s research and creative work is focused on architecture theory and representation, architecture pedagogy, and interior architecture.

David Hoffman, FAIA, NCARB, Hon. FCARM​

Hoffman is Senior Vice President of LK Architecture, Inc., a 115 person Architecture and Engineering firm based in Wichita, Kansas. He has held an NCARB Certificate for 40 years and is licensed in 29 jurisdictions. His professional activities include serving as the 2018-2019 President of NCARB, on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions for 12 years, on the AIA Board of Directors, on three Editorial Review Committees for the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, on numerous AIA national committees, and on the Advisory Boards of the University of Kansas’ School of Architecture and Design and Iowa State University Department of Architecture. He has also served on 9 NAAB accreditation visits and one International Certification team. Hoffman has received the Henry Shirmer Distinguished Service Award from AIA Kansas.

Raúl Rivera-Ortiz, AIA, NCARB​

Rivera-Ortiz is a licensed architect in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For over 30 years, Rivera-Ortiz was the Chief Principal of Rivera and Lastra Architects (formally R.R.O. Architects), responsible for overseeing the design and project administration of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential buildings. Rivera-Ortiz received his architecture degree from Cornell University’s School of Architecture, Art, and Planning. Rivera-Ortiz has taught capstone design at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico and currently serves as an adjunct professor at la Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico, teaching ethics.

Kelly Hayes McAlonie, FAIA​

Hayes McAlonie, FAIA, LEED AP is the Director of Campus Planning at the University at Buffalo. Her work involves overseeing the implementation of the university’s Comprehensive Master Plan and the strategic planning for UB’s three campus environments. Hayes McAlonie has dedicated her career to educational architecture. She has spent the past 14 years researching the life and career of Louise Blanchard Bethune, FAIA, the first professional woman architect. She is currently writing a monograph, The Lady Architect: Louise Blanchard Bethune, FAIA. Hayes McAlonie has been active in AIA, serving as 2008 President of AIA Buffalo/WNY, 2012 President of AIANYS and 2016-2019 Regional Representative of the AIA National Strategic Council.

Marilys R. Nepomechie, FAIA, DPACSA, NCARB
Past President​

Nepomechie is a Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Faculty and Program Development at Florida International University in Miami. Her professional and academic projects focus on urban resilience and design of sustainable, affordable housing and infrastructure. Included in the archives of the U.S. National Building Museum, her projects have been honored with over 40 design and research awards, national and international exhibitions, and publications. The NSF, NEA, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, as well as the Andrew W. Mellon, Graham, CINTAS and American Architecture Foundations, have funded her research, creative, and curatorial work.

Damon Leverett, MFA, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP​

Leverett is an independent design and planning professional in Tucson, AZ. Formerly with the American Institute of Architects in Washington DC from 2013-2019, he served as Managing Director, Workforce Development and Strategy, and Managing Director Diversity & Emerging Professionals Engagement. His responsibilities included engaging membership in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion, emerging professional leadership as well as higher and K-12 education. Damon has over 30 years’ experience working in the architecture and design industry as a principal, lead designer, and instructor. He holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Web Design and New Media from the Academy of Art University.

Michaele Pride, Assoc. AIA, NOMA​

Pride is a Professor of Architecture at the University of New Mexico. As an architect and urban designer, she emphasizes principles of collaboration and public engagement in her teaching, research, and professional consulting. Michaele’s current work focuses on the intersection of design and public health—seeking ways to create healthier and more equitable communities. As Director of the UNM Design and Planning Assistance Center (DPAC), Michaele leads projects that connect communities to students and faculty. She is also a co-convener of the HIVE Network at UNM (Health, Inclusion, Vibrancy and Equity), connecting to address adverse determinants of health and wellbeing in New Mexico.

Annie Ringhofer

Ringhofer is an architectural designer at KEM STUDIO, an award-winning design firm that fuses architecture + industrial design. She earned her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas where she was selected as the Honor Graduate and commencement speaker, served on three NAAB accreditation visits, worked alongside industry leaders on the School of Architecture and Design Dean’s Advisory Board, and served the American Institute of Architecture Students through numerous task forces and committees focusing on programming, membership, and culture. 

Carmina Sánchez-del-Valle, Arch. D., DPACSA, R.A., CAAPPR

Sánchez-del-Valle is Professor of Architecture at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She previously held appointments at the Florida A&M University and at the University of Kansas. Her teaching and research consider the representation and organization of design information through traditional and digital means from small scale modeling and simulation to urban mapping, the design process, and collaborative interdisciplinary work. She received a professional degree in Architecture from the University of Puerto Rico, and a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan. Sánchez-del-Valle has served on the ACSA and AIAS Board of Directors and has participated in many NAAB visits nationally and internationally.

Stephen Schreiber, FAIA, NCARB, DPACSA​

Schreiber is a Professor and founding Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A.) and Harvard University (M.Arch.), Schreiber has served as dean at the University of South Florida, and chair at the University of New Mexico. His professional architecture work and research have been published in numerous journals and newspapers. Schreiber has been President of the ACSA and Regional Director of NCARB. He has been honored as AIA Fellow (FAIA) and ACSA Distinguished Professor (DPACSA). In 2018, Schreiber was elected to the inaugural city council of Amherst, a community of 41,000 residents.

Nyx Valerdy

Valerdy is pursuing her Bachelor of Architecture from the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston. She has served as the student representative to AIA Houston’s Board of Directors and Latinos in Architecture committee, and on the Hines College of Architecture and Design Alumni Association Board. Valerdy currently serves as the President of the UH AIAS Chapter and has previously served on the AIAS national membership committee. She has served on four NAAB accreditation visits. Valerdy joined the Houston office of Perkins&Will as a summer intern in 2021 and consults part-time for the Parapan American Games as an accessibility specialist with iDesign Access.

Gretchen Frickx, EdD
Public Director​

Frickx received her B.A. from The George Washington University, her M.S. from Northwestern University and her EdD from Benedictine University. She served for over 20 years at Harrington Institute of Interior Design in various roles including Director of Academic Affairs, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and Campus Director. She developed the institutional assessment plan and was heavily involved in programmatic and institutional accreditation efforts. Frickx is now the Director of the Global Gateway Program at DePaul University, where she oversees all academics and operations. Frickx lives in Oak Park, IL, where she volunteers at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.

Rhea Steele, CAE
Public Director​

Steele received her B.A. and M.S. from the University of Colorado – Boulder. After working at the school’s Judicial Affairs and Writing departments and University Museum, she moved to Washington, DC where she became the Director of IT and Operations for the Council of Chief State School Officers, and later COO at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and DECA, Inc. Steele now serves as the Chief of Staff at the School Nutrition Association overseeing human resources, governance, and strategic initiatives. Steele has presented and written about culture change, process improvement, strategic visioning, ethics, and the future of work.