Nov. 7, 2018: Stephen Ayers is scheduled to retire as the Architect of the Capitol at the end of this month, November, 2018. Ayers was originally nominated to the position by former President Obama, and Ayers was confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate in May, 2010. Ayers has worked for the Office of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) for twenty years. As the Architect of the Capitol, Ayers is responsible for the operation and care of the U.S. Capitol, its 570 acres of grounds and 18.4 million square feet of additional buildings--the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Congressional office buildings, the Capitol Visitor Center, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building among them. The AOC office employs about 2,100 people and has an annual budget of nearly $600 million. Ayers joined the AOC in 1997 as an Assistant Superintendent for the Senate office buildings. He took over as the Acting AOC in February, 2007, less than a year before the Capitol Visitor Center opened to the public. During his tenure, he oversaw the restoration of the Capitol Dome and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, and he launched a renewal of the Cannon House Office Building, among other initiatives.