USC Alumna prioritizes sustainability as California’s State Architect

Ida Claire State Architect

Ida Clair, USC School of Architecture ’87, was appointed the first female state architect by Governor Gavin Newsom, after serving as acting state architect since January 2019. She joined the Division of State Architect in 2013, becoming the first technical administrator of the Certified Access Specialist Program, which ensures accessibility standards for buildings.

Before joining the division, Clair spent more than 26 years in private practice. One of her proudest achievements is a housing facility for residents transitioning from homelessness. “It was energy-efficient with a visually appealing aesthetic,” she says, and it received the highest score for sustainability under the Building Green certification program when it was completed.

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