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Principal, Director of Architecture
San Francisco, California

Our client is a leading global multi-disciplinary practice consistently recognized and awarded at the highest levels for design excellence and sustainable innovation, committed to shaping a resilient and thriving future for their clients, communities, and planet. The firm leverages its international expertise and in-depth knowledge of local markets through a network of culturally diverse global design studios focused on Commercial & Workplace, Higher Education, Urban Design, Cultural, Education & Science, Environment & Communities, Health, Hospitality, Mixed Use, Outer Space, Public Spaces, Residential, Retail, and Transport. Given the firm’s continued growth and success they are seeking a Principal to play a key role in their San Francisco practice regionally, nationally, and globally.

The Principal is an entrepreneurial and collaborative leader, highly skilled in the acquisition and leadership of large complex Commercial & Workplace, Mixed-Use, Urban Design/Public Realm, Environments and Communities, Higher Education, Science and/or Transportation projects. The Principal will collaborate with Sector Leaders, Head of Sustainability, Head of Design, and the CEO in the development and implementation of strategies that elevate the San Francisco practice and grow business nationally across market sectors. The firm’s strengths lie in the integration of architecture, interiors, and urban design, and as a client and market leader, the Principal will work closely across disciplines, leading successful pursuit strategies and delivery of exemplary projects. 

With exceptional skills at building long-term relationships, the Principal will lead marketing efforts with the CEO, Head of Clients and Future Business, Principals in Charge and other leaders and team members to attract new clients and maintain existing clients in California and nationally. Adept with the big picture and the smallest details, the Principal will have proven client and project leadership experience. They will communicate clearly with clients for any required decisions that impact the firm’s design goals, schedule and delivery of documents.

This is a market-facing leadership role, helping guide and drive the shape and future of the firm’s United States operations. As a key part of the firm’s internationalisation strategy, the role is about growing business, working directly with clients and advancing opportunities that develop and strengthen the firm’s profile within the United States, with a focus on Commercial & Workplace, Urban Design/Public Realm, Environments and Communities as well as emerging opportunities in Education, Science and Transport.

  • Within the studio, this role will provide leadership, direction, and knowledge input for the delivery of projects, managing project deliverables, programs, and deadlines, and developing the capability of the U.S. team. 
  • This role will be part of the global leadership cohort and will work closely with the U.S. Regional Leader, Global Business Development team and global Heads of Design to advance the firm’s footprint internationally.
  • Proactive management of the pipeline within the firm’s Intelligence using reporting dashboards
  • Leading pursuit strategies for major opportunities
  • Working with the Research and Communications Team on market profiling within the U.S.

Take ownership as Principal-In-Charge of large, complex or multi-disciplinary projects within the scope and expectations of clients. Lead teams to follow firm’s project processes and professional practice guidelines including:

  • Project planning and scoping
  • Resource and work planning
  • Project and risk management

Balance creativity with project profitability including:

  • Effective project leadership against budget and scope
  • Ensuring timely billing and collection of fees
  • Competitive pricing and resourcing cognizant of market factors
  • Effective positioning of firm’s work
  • Continuous improvement of processes to drive quality, sustainability and efficiency
  • Maintaining sustainable work hours for self and team

Lead the development of new research, methods or tools, and/leadership at the studio, discipline sector or region level including:

  • Leading project teams with flexible and hybrid work arrangements within sustainable work hour guidelines
  • Leading teams or communities
  • Leading or sponsoring initiatives to elevate the firm’s culture, reputation or brand such as generating new thought leadership, research, key note speaking or industry representation

Lead the identification, building and maintenance of client relationships and generating wins through:

  • Active management of clients and stakeholders through account planning techniques
  • Identification of new clients, leads and sector or industry relationship building opportunities
  • Leading bid teams on proposals, bids, submissions and presentations
  • Leading client presentations and pitches
  • Leading sector or complex bid planning
  • Leading proactive calendar of client engagement and events

Invest in development of self and ongoing development of others such as:

  • Actively participating in leadership development and acting on engagement or 360 feedback
  • Knowledge sharing and contributing to skill development of others
  • Providing feedback, coaching/mentoring to others
  • Leading initiatives in skill development in the firm’s studio, discipline and/or sector 
  • Participate in required training and following procedures and policies including Work Health and Safety policies


  • Bachelor Degree, or higher qualification, in Architecture, Urban Design or Masterplanning
  • Licensed as an architect in California or ability to obtain license in California by reciprocity
  • Over 15 years in architecture, urban design, urban and regional planning in commercial workplace, education, urban design or public realm and experience in growing and leading teams and complex or large-scale projects and initiatives. 
  • Highly networked and regarded as an established leader in the San Francisco Bay area, with a proven track record in winning commissions and substantial built project experience in commercial and public sector architecture or urban design/public realm.
  • Strategic Insight: Bringing thought leadership on diverse perspectives and information to create new strategic insights and innovative opportunities. Creating strategies and plans to grow opportunities for the sector, discipline or region.
  • Technical Excellence: Governing and quality assuring technical capability in design and project management. Experience in project leadership, design technology, bid writing, safety in design, and research techniques.
  • Develop Self and Leading Team: Creating environments that enable all to be engaged and achieve their potential. Experienced in actively identifying, coaching, mentoring, and developing design talent. Committed to continuously developing self professionally and as a leader, and adapting behaviors based on feedback from others.
  • Collaboration: Creating culture of effective collaboration with experience in working in cross discipline or diverse teams.  Engaging internally and externally with networks to build knowledge, opportunity, and talent pools.
  • Stakeholder Relationship Building: Experienced in expanding and deepening client relationships, managing large or complex accounts to win work. Creating and impact to the organization’s profile and market reputation.
  • Commercial Result: Recognized ability to generate revenue in the vicinity of role targets and consistently lead profitable projects. Leads financial and performance metrics setting for teams and takes accountability for coaching and guiding teams to collectively achieve those outcomes.

Our client is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer that thrives on diversity. Their local studios are  primary places for in-person connection and collaboration, together with open access to flexible and hybrid work arrangements. They enable sustainable work hours and actively support the holistic health and wellbeing of their people.