Kimberly Dowdell is the director of business development for HOK's Chicago office and 2019–20 National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects.
At HOK, Dowdell collaborates with other members of the leadership team in HOK’s Chicago studio to develop and implement strategic business development and marketing initiatives.
Before joining HOK, she worked for the Housing and Revitalization Department in Detroit, her hometown, where she oversaw projects focused on revitalizing downtown, midtown, and other high-potential neighborhoods throughout the city. Previously, Dowdell was director of marketing for the real estate project management firm Levien & Company, and then attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her experience at Harvard was augmented by her fellowship in the Center for Public Leadership, where she was in the first cohort of Sheila C. Johnson Fellows.
Dowdell is also the cofounder of Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED), an organization dedicated to building and supporting a culture of civic responsibility and engagement in the built environment and the public realm. She founded SEED while working as an intern at the U.S. General Services Administration during her undergraduate years at Cornell.
Dowdell says her work has been aided by relationships formed as an undergraduate at Cornell, and her work on the AAP Advisory Council. "Having the AAP connection makes it easy to pick up the phone and renew those relationships," she says. "Former classmates and current council members are working in companies that could really have an impact on the work we are doing in Detroit."