Shelby High School alumnus appointed Capitol architect

June 7, 2024

– US Army photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Shelby High School 1990 alumnus Tom Austin was recently appointed as the 13th Architect of the Capitol. Austin, the son of the late Jerry and Jan Austin, is a U.S. Army veteran and former director of engineering at Arlington National Cemetery. He will begin duties June 24.

The architect handles maintenance, operation, development and preservation of the Capitol complex. Architects of the Capitol are appointed to serve a 10-year term.

“The Architect of the Capitol plays a vital role in welcoming millions of visitors to our Capitol and ensuring it is a functional workplace,” the commission said in a joint statement. “Thomas Austin has managed construction projects and facilities of all sizes, maintained one of our nation’s most hallowed landmarks, and served our country in the military. We are confident that with his extensive experience, Thomas Austin will be an adept and capable Architect of the Capitol.”

Austin is currently a senior program manager for a construction consulting firm and served as chief of the Facility Programs Division for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He retired from the Army in 2023 as a colonel after serving nearly three decades in engineering and leadership roles, including overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s a licensed professional engineer and certified construction manager.

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