Steering Committee


Ambassador Richard N. Swett, FAIA

Ambassador Richard N. Swett, FAIARichard N. Swett is President of Swett Associates, Inc. He was nominated by President Clinton to be Ambassador to Denmark in 1998 where he presented his credential to H.M. Queen Margrethe II.

In 1990, Richard Swett was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In Congress, he served on the Committees on Public Works and Transportation; Science, Space and Technology; the U.S. Congressional Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. He co-authored the Congressional Accountability Act. He also authored the Transportation for Livable Communities Act. Key provisions were included in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). He also introduced legislation to encourage energy conservation and use of renewable energy, which were included in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Ambassador Swett brought NASA’s first business outreach office to New Hampshire, which increased contracts between NASA and New England companies by over 21%.

Ambassador Swett’s business experience encompasses architectural design, project management, corporate management, project development, and finance. Areas of activity have been in real estate, alternative energy development and production, energy conservation, industrial development, and international export promotion. He has developed and financed Independent Power PURPA plants in the Northeast as well as consulted on energy technology projects and assisted with financing in the Eastern and Central European countries of Romania and Hungary. He is a licensed architect.

Ambassador Swett holds positions on several corporate boards including the position of Senior Counselor at APCO Worldwide, a global strategic communication and public relations firm. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Design Futures Council, past state chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee, member of the European Union Center of California’s advisory board, member of Denmark’s H.C. Andersen Foundation board of advisors, a member of the board of Peers overseeing design quality issues for the General Services Administration for the United States Government building portfolio, and a member of The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute Steering Committee . He is the author of the book, Leadership by Design: Creating an Architecture of Trust, and a contributing author to A Nation Reconstructed. A Quest for the Cities That Can Be, and has published numerous articles, and delivered speeches on a variety of topics including the call for “Design Diplomacy, A New Inclusive Leadership Based Upon the Design Model” at various institutions including Yale University’s Roth-Symonds Lecture, U.C.L.A., Scripps College, Boston Architecture Center’s Cascieri Lecture, Boston Society of Architects, National American Institute of Architects Conventions, the National Prayer Breakfast and many others.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Yale University. While there, he was awarded the Timothy Dwight College Master’s Cup, served as captain of the track team and still holds the University record in the decathlon.

The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce named Ambassador Swett one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans in 1993. He was also named one of the Ten Most Influential People in New Hampshire by NH Business Magazine. He has been twice awarded the Presidential Citation by the AIA, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees and awards. He served as one of six panelists who helped the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation select the design teams to perform the design studies for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center.

He received the Arnold W. Brunner Award from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for his work on leadership in the Architecture profession. Grants for continuing this work have also been awarded by the Design Futures Council and the Velux Foundation, Denmark.

On April 30, 2001 Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark bestowed the Grand-Croix of the Order of the Dannebrog on Ambassador Swett. This is the Danish equivalence of knighthood. Ambassador Swett is married to Katrina Lantos Swett and they have seven children.