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Architects Without Borders Seattle - Board Leadership Opportunity

Architects Without Borders Seattle (AWBS) is seeking talented and passionate leaders to serve a two-year term on our Board of Directors from January 2023 through December 2024. 


Diversity is crucial to the success of our mission to collaborate with underserved communities to deliver ecologically sensitive, culturally appropriate, life-changing design solutions in Seattle and around the world. We seek members who have ties or lived experience with underserved communities locally and/or internationally. Skills helpful to AWBS at this time include fundraising, marketing, and international development.  We are also seeking those who have a current Washington State architect license.


About AWBS

Founded in 2005 by a group of Seattle architects and designers in response to a devastating tsunami, Architects Without Borders Seattle is committed to providing pro bono services to build strong communities. AWBS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Volunteers are fundamental to our work as all our project work is completely volunteer led and assisted. AWBS’s one paid staff member is our Executive Director, who reports to the Board of Directors.

AWBS Mission and Values

AWBS volunteers collaborate with underserved communities to deliver ecologically sensitive, culturally appropriate, life-changing design. 

Core Values:

  • Appropriate design solutions are vital to communities and the environment

  • Collaborative long-term relationships with communities are essential to providing effective design assistance

  • Exchange of knowledge and skills can empower both communities and designers

  • Interdisciplinary teams create innovative and insightful projects

  • Volunteer passion, energy, and efforts make our work possible

Board of Directors Responsibilities

AWBS Board members advise, govern, oversee policy and direction, and assist with leadership and general promotion of Architects Without Borders Seattle. Although board members are not directly responsible for project work, they assist the Project Committee with project leadership. Board members serve as ambassadors and guide the sustainability of the organization.


Board members serve as advisors by:

  • providing mission-focused guidance during potential project vetting, and to project teams, as needed

  • mentoring new board members

  • serving on one board committee to focus on specific parts of AWB’s mission and needs 

Board members serve as ambassadors by:

  • reflecting the Mission and Core Values of the organization

  • strengthening relationships between AWBS and the local community

  • advancing AWBS’s mission and services 

  • supporting activities to develop funding for the organization


Board members guide the sustainability of the organization by:

  • understanding and adhering to the policies and procedures of AWBS

  • developing organizational policy, and creating, reviewing, and evaluating organizational plans

  • engaging in strategic planning to establish long and short-term goals and priorities

  • overseeing personnel and staff accountability and development 

  • recognizing and avoiding conflicts of interest 

  • ensuring the organization’s fiscal stability by:

  • becoming familiar with AWBS’s finances, budget, and financial/resource needs

  • connecting AWBS with sponsors, donors, and other funding opportunities

  • supporting AWBS financially with a personally meaningful gift through a monthly recurring donation, and/or donations at fundraising events, and/or donations at other times during the year 


Meetings and Time Commitment

AWBS Board members should commit in the range of 12-25 hours per month to AWBS, distributed between the monthly board meeting, events, and work related to the organization, as well as committee meetings. Each board member will participate and serve on at least one board committee, which aligns with their areas of expertise and interest. The board will engage in an annual retreat of approximately 6-8 hours, usually held on a weekend day in February. 


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, as of March 2020, the board has been meeting virtually via Zoom instead of the in-person meetings itemized below. In-person meetings will resume in the future when it is safe to do so.

  • The board of directors meets monthly on the third Wednesday of the month, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in downtown Seattle at our office at 1101 2nd Ave. 

  • Committee meetings generally take place once per month for 90 minutes in person or by zoom. Members are expected to attend at least three Projects Committee meetings each year (a monthly gathering of volunteer teams doing the inspiring work of the organization)

  • Board members are expected to attend and participate in organization-wide events (e.g. the annual fundraiser, annual volunteer appreciation, etc.)

  • One board term is two years long, with the option to continue serving on the board after the first term


To apply for a position on the AWBS Board of Directors, please send the following to by 5:00pm, Sunday, December 4, 2022. 


  1. A current resume with contact information to help us get to know you (a thorough LinkedIn or similar profile is also acceptable – we’re interested in content, not polish)

  2. A Statement of Interest replying specifically to board member responsibilities. Please consider the following questions as you compose your Statement of Interest:

    • What prompted your interest in joining the AWBS Board?

    • What do you know about AWBS, and what would you like to learn about us?

    • What challenges, issues, or needs would you like to address as an AWBS Board member?   

    • What areas of expertise, special skills, training, or personal qualities do you feel would be most important to your work on the AWBS Board? 

    • What will be the biggest challenges in sharing your personal time, energy, and financial resources with AWBS?  

    • Are there any thoughts, questions, or concerns that may have come up while thinking about these questions that you would like to share with us?


Interviews will be conducted in December with offers to join the board extended by mid-January.

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