Clark Manus

Founding Principal

Licensed Architect


Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Environmental Design & Psychology, UB, University of Buffalo

Clark Manus, FAIA, is the Founding Principal of Heller Manus Architects and former president of The American Institute of Architects (AIA). The convergence of these two leadership roles has enabled Clark to manifest broader design thinking on issues pertaining to the urban and regional context. In his roles as a design principal and citizen architect, Clark's 38-year career has influenced the character of San Francisco's built environment. He is a vocal activist for community design and advocacy issues affecting policies and planning that reinforce the urban fabric in the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently serves as a planning commissioner for the city of Oakland.

Following the 1989 earthquake, Clark chaired successive Mayoral Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC) over two decades, emerging as a leader that began with orchestrating the catalytic Embarcadero Design Assessment Team (DAT). The DAT resulted in the removal of the damaged Embarcadero Freeway in 1992, thereby enabling the reclamation and the continued transformation of the Central Embarcadero, and setting the stage for the visionary Transbay area plan that enabled the rebirth of the downtown Rincon Hill neighborhood and the adjacent Transbay residential and transit district. 

Clark's experience encompasses a wide range of new and reconstruction projects including residential, commercial, civic, rehabilitation/adaptive re-use, performance facilities, academic and urban design plans in the San Francisco Bay Area and China. Clark is recognized for his expertise in complex urban, mixed-use buildings and master planning projects, especially in difficult approval environments. Some noteworthy San Francisco projects include the renovation/restoration of San Francisco City Hall, the Infinity and Lumina residential towers, and Hotel Vitale on the Embarcadero. Both he and HM have received numerous honors and awards. He shares his knowledge and vision as a keynote speaker, urban design critic, and through published articles. 

As the AIA's 87th President, Clark was the voice of the AIA. He led initiatives on healthy, sustainable and resilient communities, including disaster planning and energy efficiency. Experiencing increased globalization, Clark led the inaugural AIA foreign trade missions to India with the US Department of Commerce, to promote opportunities abroad for AIA members, as well as expanding the collaboration with foreign professional organizations. Clark's AIA leadership strengthened alliances with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Professional Organizations

Oakland Planning Commissioner
American Institute of Architects (AIA), 87th President
Architecture for Humanity, Board of Directors
SF Friends of City Planning, Treasurer
San Francisco Transbay CAC, Chair
AIA Haiti Regional Plan Advisory, Chair
Mayor’s Ocean Beach Vision Council, Director