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USModernist Appoints Michela O’Connor Abrams as Chief Advancement Officer



USModernist has named Michela O’Connor Abrams as Chief Advancement Officer. The appointment marks a pivotal moment as the nonprofit transitions from a volunteer-based startup into a national cultural organization with full-time staff and international influence.


“Michela’s proven success, strategic vision, extensive relationships, and ability to connect—in addition to her passion for architecture, design, and digital media—will create new opportunities and partnerships in our longstanding mission to create a singular digital archive,” says USModernist CEO and Founder George Smart. “We’re thrilled to have her on the team.”


The award-winning 501C3 USModernist was founded by Smart as a nonprofit educational archive dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and promotion of Modernist architecture. It has since amassed more than 4 million pages of architectural magazines dating back to 1891, available to the public in free, searchable, and downloadable form. USModernist has also documented around 10,000 mid-century Modernist houses—the residential work of more than 100 iconic architects. Its podcast, USModernist Radio, making architecture more accessible to the general public, is now in its 8th year.

“USModernist is an incredible resource for historians, architects, researchers, and real estate enthusiasts,” says O’Connor Abrams, founder and president of MOCA+, a San Francisco-based advisory practice. “This not only preserves an important piece of our past—it creates an invaluable resource for our future.”

Abrams’ passion for architecture dates back to her childhood, when she spent several months living in Schindler’s King’s Road House, a pioneering Modernist home designed by Rudolph Schindler in 1921. She later lived in Silver Lake, LA’s bastion of mid-century Modernist architecture.

Before founding MOCA+ in 2017, Abrams spent 15 years as President and CEO of DWELL Media, where she transformed a brilliantly positioned magazine into a global brand on five platforms—print, digital, live, books, and products. She previously served as CEO of Business 2.0 media as well as other leadership roles in technology media.

MOCA+ is an advisory practice focused on building brands through the lens of design thinking. Founded by Michela O’Connor Abrams, former CEO of Dwell and Business 2.0, MOCA+ provides resources such as Collective Conscience, a content platform, and the Design Insights Forum, a 12-year longitudinal research study of the nation’s engaged design-minded consumers.

For more information, contact USModernist CEO George Smart at george@usmodernist.org or (919) 740-8407.

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