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Global Design Principal
Minneapolis, Minnesota

For over 100 years, this dynamic multi-disciplinary design firm has been recognized internationally for contributions to the built environment through their unwavering commitment to design excellence, creativity, and client service. The firm promotes a unique method of interdisciplinary collaboration, leveraging its diverse resources across multiple markets and all global offices. The firm’s portfolio includes award-winning projects in 77 countries, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia. 

The firm currently employs approximately 800 architects, planners, engineers and interior designers in 30 offices worldwide. It consistently ranks in the top largest architecture/engineering and interior design firms in the US, and is listed in BD World Architecture’s top 25 global practices. Market expertise includes Healthcare, Higher Education, Federal and Local Government, Civic, Institutional, Corporate/ Commercial, Aviation, Hospitality, Science + Technology and Cultural. Given the firm’s planned growth and success they are seeking a Global Design Principal to lead design in the firm’s Omaha/Minneapolis offices while actively collaborating with design leaders globally.

The Global Design Principal is an architect and industry leader, complementing and leading the office's established design talent and advancing the firm's design expertise. As the design leader of the Omaha/Minneapolis offices, and member of the firm’s Global Design Leadership Council, the Global Design Principal is responsible for overall design excellence and nurturing a culture of design and collaboration. With an established portfolio across multiple market sectors including Healthcare, Higher Education, Corporate/Commercial, Civic and/or Federal, the Global Design Principal will advance the Omaha/Minneapolis offices’ market position and leverage the firm’s breadth of talent and experience in collaboration with the Managing Principals and President. 

The Global Design Principal has two primary responsibilities:

  1. Establishing, leading and maintaining a common design platform and dialogue for the entire firm as an integral member of the Global Design Leadership group.

  2. Elevating the firm’s Omaha/Minneapolis Offices’ capabilities and profile through collaboration with the office design teams and connection with people.

The Global Design Principal is responsible for establishing, inspiring and directing the comprehensive development of the design process for the firm and the Omaha/Minneapolis teams of architects, engineers, planners and interior designers. This includes all phases of many simultaneous projects located throughout the United States and abroad. The Global Design Principal is a broadly-educated thinker who is passionate about architecture as a discipline and craft. S/he has an expansive, generalist architectural perspective and a focused depth of knowledge in multiple building types, supplemented by a passion for innovation, technical excellence and sustainable design practices. 

The Global Design Principal will further the firm’s ability to create a new, interconnected view of the firm’s focus markets and resources in alignment with the firm’s design goals. Additional broad activities include: strategic planning, outreach, thought leadership, implementation and overall quality of design practices, assessing present/future needs, technologies, trends, issues and opportunities related to design. S/he reports directly to the company’s President as an integral member of the Global Design Leadership group, a small number of Design Principals responsible for establishing, leading and maintaining a common design platform and dialogue for the firm.


  • Establishes and executes a strategic plan for design within the firm and the Omaha/Minneapolis offices, including goals to elevate overall design direction, philosophy, and policies fostering a positive, collaborative design excellence culture.

  • Serves as a technical expert available to consult and plan the design process, provide design direction, and recommend and solve problems of large scope and complexity.

  • Represents the firm and the Omaha/Minneapolis offices during the monthly Global Design Principals’ call and serves as primary design outreach to other offices.  

  • Maintains contact with key leaders across the firm to stay apprised of the quality and capabilities of other offices, their personnel and collaborates for on-going design strategy development.

  • Participates in strategy formation, assessments of needs and relevant trends, and recommends improvements relative to tools and methods of implementation of architectural software, design procedures, standard details and master specifications.

  • Contributes and develops ideas, leads efforts, and actively engages in the firm’s research and development initiatives.


  • Represents and elevates the firm and the Omaha/Minneapolis offices as a recognized design expert and initiates outreach to the external design community.

  • Provides thought leadership and serves as an advocate for the firm and design by publishing articles, and attending, exhibiting, participating in industry organizations.

  • Performs marketing and business development activities: establishes, builds and maintains working relationships with key clients and strategic partners; assists developing capture plan strategies; contributes to proposal writing, and attends client interviews to win work.

  • Nurtures working relationships and outreach with regional architecture programs.

  • Participates in recruitment and retention activities in coordination with the Omaha/Minneapolis Managing Principals and Directors of Operations.

  • Active leader and member of varied professional and community organizations.


  • Works closely with the firm’s President and Omaha/Minneapolis office leadership to execute projects to the highest quality, on time, within budget and in a collaborative environment.

  • Leads, plans, participates in and monitors the design process as well as the production of narratives, reports, graphics, design presentations, drawing and specification documents.

  • Establishes, designs and specifies project-appropriate architectural requirements.

  • Attends client and internal meetings and communicates with clients, consultants, contractors and others regarding design issues during various stages of project development.

  • Assists in creating a process of design reviews, critiques, charrettes and similar design activities, ensuring and influencing an adherence to a design excellence attitude in all things for the firm beyond projects.


  • Experience creating and developing overall design concepts and formulating design presentation strategies, with an understanding of current and future trends.

  • Proven track record of success in building, maintaining and growing client and strategic partner relationships.

  • Ability to develop collaborative relationships across the firm.

  • Knowledge of the total project process including fee and team management, schedules and budgets.

  • Exceptional self-motivation, customer service orientation, communication, writing and presentation experience.

  • A desire to mentor team members, offering guidance and leadership.

  • Excellent time management and organization skills with the ability to become involved in, and remain current on, issues relating to a number of concurrent projects in various stages.


  • Master’s Degree in Architecture from an accredited college or university.

  • Architectural Licensure.

  • Professional expertise demonstrated through 15+ years’ experience including a proven track record leading the design of large-scale projects.  Experience in workplace, commercial, education, and healthcare markets is preferred.

  • Demonstrated hand-drawing skills. 

  • Advanced computer skills, including Autodesk, Adobe and Microsoft Suites. Rhino 3D or Grasshopper is a plus.

  • Ability to travel regularly with some international travel.

  • Significant leadership experience in a large, multi-office or multi-facility organization.


  • Outstanding leadership presence and communication skills, with the ability to quickly inspire and build trust within the firm and design industry at large.

  • Team-oriented, with the ability to support, facilitate, lead, and motivate others through influence and respect.

  • High-performer with low ego needs; energetic, enthusiastic, committed and entrepreneurial.

  • Capable of generating enthusiasm for best-in-class performance through demonstration of personal passion to be best in design; presents a fresh, forward-looking approach and the willingness, strength of will and vision to act as a change agent.

API Partners is a retained executive search and management consulting firm focused on professionals that design and manage the built environment. Our experience as design and building professionals, registered architects and designers, provides us with the unique understanding of our client’s requirements and expectations. Since 1995, API Partners has anticipated the needs of our international clientele and assisted in their growth and success.