Clark Manus (BA '74) is CEO of Heller Manus Architects and former president of the American Institute of Architects. The convergence of these two leadership roles has enabled Manus to manifest broad design thinking on issues pertaining to the urban and regional context.
In his roles as a design principal and citizen architect, Manus' 35-year career has influenced the character of San Francisco’s built environment. He is a vocal activist for community design and advocacy issues affecting policies and planning that reinforce the urban fabric in the San Francisco Bay Area. Following the 1989 earthquake, Manus chaired successive Mayoral Citizen Advisory Committees which began with orchestrating the catalytic Embarcadero Design Assessment Team (DAT). The DAT resulted in the removal of the damaged Embarcadero Freeway in 1992, thereby enabling the reclamation and the continued transformation of the Central Embarcadero, and setting the stage for the visionary Transbay area plan that enabled the rebirth of the downtown Rincon Hill neighborhood and the adjacent Transbay residential and transit district over the last two decades.
Manus' experience encompasses a wide range of new and reconstruction projects including residential, commercial, civic, rehabilitation/adaptive re-use, performance facilities, retail and urban design plans in the San Francisco Bay Area and China. He is recognized for his expertise in complex urban, mixed-use buildings and master planning projects, especially in difficult approval environments. Some noteworthy San Francisco projects include the renovation/restoration of San Francisco City Hall, the Infinity residential towers, and Hotel Vitale on the Embarcadero. Both he and Heller Manus have received numerous honors and awards. He shares his knowledge and vision as a keynote speaker and urban design critic, and through published articles.
As the AIA’s 87th President, Manus led initiatives on healthy, sustainable and resilient communities, including disaster planning and energy efficiency. He facilitated the broader dialogue on resilience with the AIA and Architecture for Humanity, where he is a member of the Board of Directors. Experiencing increased globalization, Manus led the inaugural AIA foreign trade missions to India with the U.S. Department of Commerce, to promote opportunities abroad for AIA members, as well as expanding the collaboration with foreign professional organizations. His AIA leadership strengthened alliances with the United States Green Building Council, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and the Urban Land Institute. Manus received a BA in environmental design and psychology from the University at Buffalo, and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, Clark was honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University at Buffalo.