Lynn Osmond

What they do: President & CEO
Where they do it: Chicago Architecture Foundation
How they contribute: Guest Speaker

Lynn Osmond assumed the position of President and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) in 1996. Osmond is responsible for overseeing CAF’s comprehensive program of architecture tours, exhibitions, public programs and youth education. Under Osmond’s leadership, CAF has realized 400% growth in revenue and is consistently ranked among the top 10 Chicago cultural institutions. Today CAF serves more than 680,000 people each year.


During Osmond’s tenure, CAF has expanded its docent tour program which now has 450 volunteers that give 85 different tours, totaling more than 7,000 tour departures annually. It is recognized internationally as one of the leading programs of its kind. Osmond initiated Open House Chicago, a free citywide annual architecture festival that attracts almost 100,000 people annually and the popular Chicago Model, a permanent scale model exhibition of the city. Osmond spearheaded the launch of the Association of Architecture Organizations that now has 160 international members.

CAF reaches more than 44,000 students annually through its youth education programs. Other education initiatives include three curricular resources for K-12 teachers and students—Schoolyards to Skylines (K-8), The Architecture Handbook (high school) and, a digital learning program—that are all used throughout the county, all of which have been recognized with an AIA Honor Award.

In recognition of CAF’s contributions over the years, CAF received the 2017 John Baird Award for Stewardship in recognition of “No Small Plans” and also in recognition of CAF’s 50th anniversary and Meet Your City initiative. The American Architectural Foundation presented CAF with its 2014 Keystone Award that honors an individual or organization from outside the field of architecture for exemplary leadership that has increased the value of architecture and design in our culture. In 2014 Osmond received the Design Futures Council Honors as Senior Felllow award; and was recognized as an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects in 2005. In 2002, she was awarded the Paul Berger Arts Entrepreneurship Award presented by Columbia College, and in 2009 she received the Chicago Woman Achievement Award from Chicago Real Estate Women (CREW).

Osmond serves on the boards of Choose Chicago, the Magnificent Mile and the International Women’s Forum. She is a member of the Commercial Club, the Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago, among others. Osmond holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Queens University, Ontario, Canada. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.