Chet Widom

Chester A. Widom FAIA was the founding partner of WWCOT, a 185 person (at the time of his retirement from the firm) architectural, interior design, planning and forensics firm with four offices in California and an office in Shanghai, China. After leaving WWCOT, he served as the Senior Architectural Advisor for the Los Angeles Community College District’s $6.1 billion construction program. In December of 2011, Governor Brown appointed him California State Architect.  As a former President of both the National American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the California Council AIA, Chet is recognized as an international leader in the profession. He has been awarded Honorary Fellowship by the Japan Institute of Architects, The Federacion Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica de Mexicana, and by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and served as the 2011 Chancellor of the College of Fellows for the American Institute of Architects. He is the 2011 recipient of the AIA’s Edward C. Kemper Award for service to the profession.

Chet was the 16th recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award by the School of Architecture at USC where he has taught and currently sits on the school’s Board of Councilors. He has been a frequent guest lecturer at numerous universities including Harvard, Yale and UCLA. In addition to his leadership of both the National and California AIA, he previously served on the Building and Safety Commission, the City Planning Commission and the Elected Charter Reform Commission for the City of Los Angeles, and as a member of the Hospital Building and Safety Board for the State of California (OSHPD). In December of 2011 he served as a member of the Bond Oversight Committee for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

EDUCATION:Bachelor of Architecture, University of Southern California, 1962

  • Licensed Architect: California, 1964

  • Licensed Architect: Wisconsin, 1999

  • NCARB-Certification, 1974

College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Chancellor, 2011Vice Chancellor, 2010
Secretary, 2008-2009
National American Institute of Architects (AIA)
President, 1995
First Vice President, 1994
Vice President, 1993
Regional Director, 1990-1992
American Architectural Foundation
National AIA Special Task Force on Construction Documents
Chair, National AIA/AGC Joint Conference
National AIA Special Education Task Force
National AIA Professional Excellence Commission
National AIA External Affairs Commission
National Architectural Accreditation Board Team for Columbia University
National Architectural Accreditation Board Team for Louisiana State University
National Science Foundation/Kobe Research Team Leader
Architectural Record Magazine Editorial Advisory BoardAIA California Council (AIA/CC)
President, 1989
First Vice President, 1988
Vice President, Governmental Relations, 1987
Director, 1984 - 1986 (inclusive)
Chair, AIA/CC Architects and Engineers Conference
California Architectural Foundation
Director, Capitol Forum

AIA/Los Angeles
Secretary: 1982-1983 (inclusive)
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Honorary Fellow (Highest honor bestowed upon foreign architects)
Japan Institute of Architects (JIA)
Honorary Fellow (Highest honor bestowed upon foreign architects)
Federacion de Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana
Honorary Fellow (Highest honor bestowed upon foreign architects)
USC School of Architecture Distinguished Alumni 1996California Board of Architectural Examiners Professional Practice Committee
Member, USC School of Architecture Board of Councilors
Architectural Record
Progressive Architecture
Engineering News Record
AIA Architect
Associated General Contractors Construction Magazine
Architecture California
A variety of Local, State and National Bar Associations
American Council of Engineering Consultants
Association of General Contractors
AIA, National
AIA, Ohio
AIA, New York
AIA, California Council
AIA, Georgia
AIA, Seattle
AIA, Florida
AIA, San Fernando Valley
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Construction Management Association of America
Association of Industrial Realtors (AIR)
Tall Buildings Association
Monterey Design Conference
West Coast Property Managers
International Facility Managers Association (IFMA)
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)
Stanford University
Los Angeles Business Council
Japan Institute of Architects
Korean Institute of Architects
Construction Superconference
Council of Engineers and Land Surveyors of California
Arizona State Department of Transportation
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
National Society of Professional Engineers
Urban Land Institute
University of Southern California
Harvard University
Yale University
University of Calgary
California Polytechnic University, Pomona
University of California, Los Angeles
Dong Nan University, Nanjing, China
Zhe Jiang University, Hangzhou, China
PUBLIC SERVICE: State of California Hospital Building & Safety Board, Former Member
City of Los Angeles City Planning Commission, Former Member
Los Angeles Building and Safety Commission, Former Member
Los Angeles Elected Charter Reform Commissioner, 6th District, Commissioner and Vice Chair
Los Angeles City Planning Commission Design Review Task Force, Former Member
Los Angeles Unified School District Primary Center Taskforce, Design Committee Chair
Mayor’s Special Advisory Task Force for the Seismic Retrofit of Los Angeles City Hall, Member
Los Angeles Unified School District, Bond Oversight Committee, Current Member
ACE Mentorship Program, Former Chair – Los Angeles Region
Los Angeles Headquarters Association, Two-term Former President
Alternative Living for the Aging, Founder & Former President
LEARN, Trustee
National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Southern California Current Member-Board of Trustees
Chet has extensive experience in the design of educational facilities for both K-12 School Districts and Higher Education Campuses. He, and his colleagues at WWCOT were responsible for the design of 20 new high schools, middle schools and elementary schools for numerous school districts in California including the Los Angeles Unified School District, Santa Monica-Malibu School District and the Palm Springs Unified School District. Also included in the portfolio are a variety of major projects for USC, UCLA, and Pomona College as well as the design of projects at West Los Angeles Community College, East Los Angeles Community College, Los Angeles City College, Pierce Community College, El Camino Community College, and the College of the Desert.
While serving as the Senior Architectural Advisor to the Los Angeles Community College District, Chet facilitated the Design Build selection process and the design of over forty projects on nine campuses. To date, this LEED program includes 12 Platinum, 13 Gold and 15 Silver projects.
In addition to his experience as a practicing architect and as a member of the owner’s team, he served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee.