Sylvia Smith Named 2016 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York

Sylvia Smith, FAIA, LEED AP

Ms. Smith, a Senior Partner at FXFOWLE Architects, is being recognized for leadership in her field and service to her community

The Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY) will honor Sylvia Smith, Senior Partner at FXFOWLE Architects, at the annual Women of Distinction breakfast on Tuesday, October 25. Ms. Smith is being recognized for her principled leadership in her field and commitment to giving back through mentorship and advocating for women.

Each fall, for more than 20 years, GSGNY has recognized women like Ms. Smith who have achieved great success in their careers while serving their community, making them excellent role models for the nearly 28,000 girls who participate in GSGNY and for countless other girls in New York City. The Women of Distinction Breakfast is held annually in celebration of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday.

“Sylvia Smith has risen to the top of a competitive field while supporting and creating opportunities for other women, exemplifying the kind of kind of leadership we value at the Girl Scouts,” said Barbara Murphy-Warrington, CEO of GSGNY. “We are thrilled to honor her as a Woman of Distinction and recognize her as an outstanding role model for our Girl Scouts.”

Ms. Smith has excelled in the male-dominated field of architecture, where only 12% of leadership positions are held by women. Over the course of her career, she has been recognized for her advocacy of women in building-related professions, mentorship of junior staff, and commitment to design excellence.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized as a 2016 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York,” said Ms. Smith. “I credit years of scouting for my strong foundation, my intrepid spirit, and commitment to service.

Ms. Smith is a Senior Partner at FXFOWLE Architects, an architecture, interiors, planning, and urban design practice with offices in New York and Washington, DC.  Focused on program-intensive projects, she formed the firm’s Cultural/Educational Studio in 1996. Under her direction, the studio has designed award-winning and distinctive structures and spaces throughout the United States, Africa and Turkey.

Her signature New York projects include two buildings at the Bronx Zoo–the reconstruction of the Lion House and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Center for Global Conservation, the redesign of the Lincoln Center public spaces and the expansion of the Juilliard School and the renovation of Alice Tully Hall (with Diller Scofidio + Renfro).

Ms. Smith currently serves on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards for educational institutions and architecture organizations. She is also is former Chair of the Fellows Committee for the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Her honors include the AIA New York State Fellow’s Award in recognition for her commitment to professional development, mentorship of junior staff, women’s advocacy, and design excellence; and the Bernard Baruch Medal for Business and Civic Leadership from Baruch College for her outstanding success in business and commitment to her community.

Ms. Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art and art history from Dickinson College and her Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. In 2008, she was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the organization’s highest honor bestowed on an architect.  She lives in upper Manhattan with her husband. Ms. Smith is an alumna of the Girl Scouts.

Ms. Smith will be recognized for these achievements at the Women of Distinction Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday October 25, 2016 at Cipriani 42ndStreet alongside four other honorees and one Girl Scout honoree: Leslie Dougherty Biddle, Partner, Serengeti Asset Management; Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Weber Shandwick; Elisa Padilla, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment;Stephanie K. Schnabel, Principal, Corporate Development Lead, KPMG LLP; and Future Woman of Distinction Girl Scout Janice Wang.