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Kimberly Dowdell

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Kimberly is a Detroit-based architect, real estate developer and educator who officially launched as an entrepreneur in 2016. 

A native of Detroit, Kimberly grew up with an ambition to revitalize cities using real estate development and sustainable design as tools for renewal. Through her experience as an architecture student at Cornell and as a young professional in Washington, D.C. and New York, she has been working toward her goal of creating transformative development projects in a variety of urban contexts.

Kimberly returned to her hometown in 2015 to serve on the City of Detroit's Housing and Revitalization team. Prior to Kimberly's public service, she was a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow within the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a licensed architect and a real estate project manager in New York.

Kimberly became a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional in 2007, demonstrating her commitment to sustainability in the built environment. In 2008, Kimberly established the annual community service project for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), which has now hosted projects in eight cities throughout the U.S. She was recently elected First Vice President/President-Elect of NOMA, commencing her two year term in 2019.

In 2005, Kimberly co-founded SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) to identify, measure and address “Triple Bottom Line” issues during the design process. SEED's mission is to “Advance the right of every person to live in a socially, economically and environmentally healthy community.” 

Kimberly’s contributions to public service were honored with her recognition as one of the top 100 national leaders in Public Interest Design, 2012, by PublicInterestDesign.org (now named ImpactDesignHub.org). Her career was also profiled in the 3rd Edition of Dr. Lee Waldrep’s acclaimed book, Becoming An Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design, 2014. 

Today, Kimberly is focused on leading projects that help contribute to the revitalization of Detroit while also preparing the next generation of urban agents of change as a lecturer at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.

Kimberly’s overarching professional mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in cities.