Darren L. James

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has named KAI President Darren L. James, FAIA, NOMA as Chair of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) – a multi-profession regulatory agency that oversees the examination, registration and professional regulation of architects, interior designers and landscape architects. Gov. Abbott originally appointed James to the nine-member board in 2020.

James’ enduring passion for community-focused initiatives is evident in the numerous non-profit and for-profit boards he has served on throughout his career. In addition to serving on the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, he is also current President of the Fair Park First Board of Directors, a member of the Dallas Citizens Council Board of Directors, Trinity Park Conservancy Board of Directors and former Chair of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce.

A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Urban Design, James started his career as an architect 31 years ago and has been president of Black-owned national design and construction services firm KAI for the past 18 years.

An architect, entrepreneur and servant leader, James’ devotion to uplifting underserved and underinvested communities and his passion for civic engagement has not gone unnoticed by the community. He received the Award for Community Service in Honor of James D. Pfluger, FAIA from the Texas Society of Architects in October 2023, the Award for Equitable Practice in Architecture in Honor of John S. Chase, FAIA from Texas Society of Architects in October of 2021 and has been named to D CEO Magazine’s list of 500 Most influential Business Leaders in North Texas since 2021, among many other accolades. James also served on the KU School of Architecture Advisory Board in the mid-nineties. In 2019, James was elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, one of the highest honors bestowed on architects for their contributions to architecture and the community.