President Obama has picked Stephen T. Ayers, acting head of the office of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) for the past three years, to serve a full 10-year term as the Capitol Architect. The AOC is responsible for maintaining and operating the Capitol building, Library of Congress, Supreme Court building and other federal facilities on or near Capitol Hill. Ayers, whose nomination was sent to the Senate on Feb. 24, next will go through the confirmation process. The 13-year veteran of the AOC office has been acting Capitol Architect since February 2007, when Alan M. Hantman retired. Ayers also has been deputy architect and chief operating officer since 2005.
Andrew Goldberg, the American Institute of Architects’ senior director for federal relations, says, “This is absolutely the right choice.” Goldberg praises Ayers, a licensed architect, for his acumen in running the AOC office, which has a workforce of about 2,600 and a budget of about $600 million. Goldberg calls the protracted AOC search “kind of the world’s longest job interview.”