FAIA, Managing Partner
As a Managing Partner in SOM’s New York office, Laura Ettelman oversees the design and planning of a diverse range of projects across the globe. Her work ranges from large-scale master plans to interior design. Among the projects in her portfolio are some of the world’s largest aviation and transportation hubs, new hospitals and research centers for healthcare and science, and campus master planning and design for both higher education and the civic and government sectors.
With more than 30 years of experience, Ettelman is an expert at leading multidisciplinary teams to deliver technically complex construction, phasing, and operational requirements. Her technical and construction expertise, coupled with her effective communication skills, benefit every aspect of project delivery, including cost and schedule management. She guides large teams of architects, engineers, consultants, and clients to deliver successful projects on time. In addition to leading projects across North America, Ettelman has led SOM's global practice in India since 2007 – managing the design, planning, and construction of airports, residential buildings, and commercial projects.
Some of her most notable work includes Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, and Moynihan Train Hall, the monumental civic project to convert McKim, Mead & White’s James A. Farley Post Office in New York City into a 21st-century transit hub. Currently, Ettelman is leading SOM’s integrated, collaborative practice on projects across the country, including the New York City Public Health Laboratory, the Montgomery County Justice Center, a new production facility for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, and Emory Healthcare Winship at Midtown. Ettelman is also leading the design and construction of a 39-gate, multi-airline terminal at Kansas City International Airport and Terminal 2 at Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, India. In 2020, three of Ettelman’s airport projects were featured on Skytrax’s World’s Top 100 Airports list, which was compiled from the feedback of global air travelers in the 2019/2020 World Airport Survey.
Ettelman balances her project work with leading the firm’s day-to-day operations. In 2020, she was elected to SOM’s Executive Committee along with Managing Partners Carrie Byles and Xuan Fu – a milestone that marked the first time three women have held the top leadership posts at SOM. As a member of the committee, and in addition to the day-to-day management, Ettelman’s responsibilities include long-term strategic decision making and leading SOM’s response to the pandemic. She is also an active participant on the firm’s Talent, Equity, Diversity & Development committee, where she is guiding SOM’s efforts to create an ever more equitable workplace environment. With a deep commitment to training the next generation of women architects, Ettelman has served as a mentor to young women at SOM. More than a decade ago, Ettelman helped to restart the SOM Women’s Initiative, and has been a leader in this group since 2010.
Ettelman has also brought her expertise beyond project work at SOM. She is currently serving on New York City’s Advisory Council in the Construction and Real Estate Sector, which guides and informs the city’s efforts to restart its economy in response to COVID-19.