We cultivate a practice of leaders: a collaboration among optimistic, empowered experts.

Steve McConnell, FAIA, LEED AP

Steve McConnell is Managing Partner at NBBJ and serves on the Board of Directors that governs the firm. As Managing Partner, McConnell oversees the firm’s strategy as well as its marketing, design practice and operations leadership. He joined NBBJ in 1990 and was named a partner in 2003.

He recently directed the design of the world’s largest LEED platinum-rated non-profit building campus for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His work spans both public and private markets and includes courthouses, corporate headquarters and high-rise commercial mixed-use structures. He has led many of the firm’s pioneering projects and developed a record-breaking project delivery methodology under the new GSA Design-Build/Design Excellence program. His projects have received more than 30 significant awards from real estate, industry, local and state AIA, and GSA programs, including a national GSA Design Award for Architecture and Interior Design for the US Courthouse in Seattle.

Previously, he served as NBBJ's Design Partner, where his passion for improving the way buildings are designed, built and operated resulted in new practices: data-driven design analytics for exploring organizational performance while mitigating risk; an integrated global delivery network; and prefabrication strategies for quality and efficiency. He led the effort to become one of the industry’s first to commit to the 2030 Challenge to reduce energy use, and he endorsed an NBBJ research effort with partners to lower hospital energy use, resulting in a $1.5 million DOE grant to deploy findings.


Urban Land Institute, Spring Meeting, Boom Town: Seattle’s Journey to Hyper Growth, Seattle, 2017

Design Futures Council: Leadership Summit on the Business of Design, Relevance Architecture, New York, NY, 2015

Design Futures Council: Leadership Summit on Design Innovation, Creating Innovation Value, La Jolla, CA, 2011

Green Building Design and Strategies Conference, Key Note: How a Culture of Collaboration & Technology Enable Sustainable Design Excellence, Kuala Lumpur and Manila, 2010

Chandavarkar & Thacker Lecture Series, Change Design: Architecture as the Ultimate Business Tool, Bangalore, India, 2008

Rotman School of Management Key Note Address, Maximizing Productivity and Encouraging Innovation through Design, Toronto, 2007


Canadian National Music Center, Design Jury, 2009
AIA Honor Awards for Washington, Chair, 2006
Design Futures Council - Executive Board
Homes Without Boundaries, Seattle, Founding Board Member, 1997-2003
Seattle Children’s Museum,, Board Member, 2000-2003
Seattle Architectural Foundation, Board Member, 1996-1998
Seattle Public Library, Architectural Council Chair, 1996