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 670,000 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 more than 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 165 international members.
CAF reaches more than 28,000 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 DiscoverDesign.org, a digital learning program—that are all used throughout the county.
In recognition of CAF’s contributions over the years, 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 2005, Osmond was recognized as an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects. 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, the Central Area Committee, the Chicago Loop Alliance and the International Women’s Forum. She is a member of Toronto Sister Cities, the Commercial Club, the Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives’ Club of Chicago, the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International and Urban Land Institute. 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.