February 2017

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Thomas Luebke

Secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.

Thomas Luebke
Thomas Luebke
Photo courtesy the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

Thomas Luebke, FAIA, has served since 2005 as the Secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the federal design review agency for the nation’s capital.  As the executive director of the agency, he has edited the 2013 book, Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts; he initiated and guided the National Capital Framework Plan, 2009, a major federal planning effort to extend the commemorative core of the National Mall, in cooperation with the National Capital Planning Commission.

An architect with experience in planning and historic preservation in both public and private sectors, Luebke served previously as the City Architect for Alexandra, Virginia, where he was responsible for design review of all new public and private projects in the city, including the Potomac Yard and Carlyle developments.  He served previously as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, an urban design forum sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.  He  is a frequent speaker and panelist on topics such as the design of Washington, DC; the history of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts; and the design of commemorative works for such institutions as the National Building Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Institute of Architects, and the American Society of Landscape Architects.  In cooperation with the National Building Museum, he has initiated and participated in numerous symposiums and exhibits, including Monuments and Memory (2001), Framing A Capital City (2007), and Power, Architecture, and Politics: The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Design of Washington (2010). 

Luebke is a Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and he graduated with a master in architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he was a teaching fellow in architectural history. He was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome in 2010.  He served as president of the board of the Washington Architectural Foundation, a non-profit organization of architects serving the Washington, DC community, leading the transformation of the institution’s mission as the District Architecture Center. He was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2011.

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