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Two key RIBA jobs go toyoung women candidates

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The riba was set to appoint Arts Council architecture officer Alicia Pivaro as its new Architecture Centre director as aj went to press. And it confirmed this week that its new director of education will be Leonie Milliner, 26, who until recently was a student representative on riba Council. The appointments appear to signal the institute's intention of presenting a youthful image to the world.

The appointment of Milliner to the £30,000-£40,000 per year director of education job is likely to cause controversy. She has been working in private practice with Geoffrey Wigfall, specialising in large private houses, and was a design assistant at Tibbalds Munro after studying at Kingston. She received an ma in architecture this year. Milliner is also an executive organiser of the Jane Drew Prize and is a consultant to the riba's Stansfield Smith Review of Architectural Education.

'With the development of a knowledge-based society, learning, and particularly lifelong learning, will become ever more important,' she said. 'I hope I can play a part at the riba in encouraging innovation and diversity to flourish in architectural education. Within the context of an ever- decreasing resource base in higher education, the post-Dearing review will be vital in steering radical changes in the way architects are trained.'

riba director general Alex Reid said he was delighted to have someone of Milliner's intellect, drive and commitment. She starts in early June, and will have to convince some in the education world that she has the breadth of knowlege and experience to do the job effectively.

Candidates for the £30,000pa architecture centre director are believed to have included Glasgow 1999 director of communications Sarah Gaventa, Doris Lockhart Saatchi, ex-riba exhibitions officer Kate Trant, former Architecture Foundation director Jeremy Melvin and architect Melissa Merryweather.

Pivaro, only 29 when she replaced Rory Coonan at the Arts Council last April, studied at the Bartlett and has beey' on restaurant design, and 'Strangely Familiar', a media spectacular on city life. She would neither confirm nor deny her appointment, although an official announcement is expected today (Thursday).

Victoria Thornton quit as director last month because she felt she was receiving 'mixed messages' - but not enough cash - from the Institute. Thornton claimed she only had a grant of £1500 a year from which to look for further support for 15 exhibitions and projects annually.

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