Laura Ettelman


Managing Partner

New York, Hong Kong


Laura oversees the design and planning for a wide range of projects around the world. Her work includes airports and transportation hubs, hospitals and research centers for healthcare and science, and campus planning and design for the higher education and government sectors.

With more than 30 years of experience, Laura excels at leading multidisciplinary teams to deliver technically complex construction, phasing, and operational requirements. A clear and effective communicator, she guides large teams of architects, engineers, consultants, and clients to deliver successful projects on time and on budget. In addition to her work in North America, Laura has led SOM’s global practice in India since 2007.

The foundation of great architecture is communication. Effective project leadership helps translate the big vision of a design into the everyday experience of that vision.

Laura’s current projects include the New York City Public Health Laboratory, the Montgomery County Justice Center, a new production facility for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, and Emory Healthcare Winship at Midtown. She is leading the design and construction of new airport terminals in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Bangalore, India. In 2020, three of Laura’s airport projects were featured on Skytrax’s World’s Top 100 Airports list.

Laura serves on SOM’s Executive Committee, where she is tasked with long-term strategic decision making and leading the firm’s response to the pandemic. She guides SOM’s efforts to create an ever more equitable workplace. As a mentor and as a longtime leader of the SOM Women’s Initiative, she is deeply committed to training the next generation of women architects.

Contributing her expertise beyond SOM, Laura currently serves on New York City’s Advisory Council in the Construction and Real Estate Sector, which guides and informs the city’s efforts for economic recovery in response to COVID-19.

Selected Work