Renee Kemp-Rotan is both an Urban Designer and a Master Planner. Renee was the first African American female to graduate Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Architecture / cum laude; attended the Architectural Association, in London; and graduated from Columbia University, with a Master of Science in Urban/Regional Planning. Renee is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); AIA's Diversity+ Inclusion Council; and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).
RKR has Directed AIA's Design, Education, Practice Division and the National Endowment for the Artsâ€™ Design Demonstration and National Design Competition Programs. She has served ten mayors as the Urban Policy Advisor in major US cities, such as DC, NYC, Atlanta, and most recently, Birmingham, where she directed planning for Capital Projects, The Railroad Reservation Park, Crossplex, SPARK@Sloss, and The Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail. She is presently Professional Competition Advisor for the Africatown International Design Idea Competition, Mobile, Alabama. (Africatown: Developed in 1865 by the Africans from the Clotilda--the last slave ship to enter the United States, 1860.)
Her works are included in the African American National Biography, edited by Dr. Henry Louis Gates; Harvard University, WEB DuBose Center and Oxford University; and the African American Research Center. She has lectured at leading international universities, including the Sorbonne, Cairo University, MIT, and Harvard on issues of design and social impact. Renee is contributing editor, Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, Cambridge Press/Bloomsbury, London.