Shepley Bulfinch, a national architecture firm known for design excellence and innovation, today announced the appointment of Angela Watson, FAIA, to president and CEO, effective immediately. Watson is a long-time principal and design leader at the firm, as well as chair of the board. 

“This is an exciting day not just for me but for the entire firm as we collectively set our sights on the future of Shepley Bulfinch, our industry, and the built environment as a whole,” said Watson. “As architects, we carry an enormous responsibility as spaces can have a ripple effect beyond the building. By prioritizing partnerships with our clients, the communities they serve, and others who play a role in the building process, Shepley Bulfinch is not only developing innovative solutions but working towards making our designs resilient and adaptable to a changing world.” 

Watson taking on the role of president and CEO marks the passing of the leadership torch from Carole Wedge, who has served in the firm’s top role since 2004 and was one of the first women to lead a design firm of its size. During her tenure as CEO, Wedge strategically grew the historic Boston-based company into a national architecture and design firm with additional offices in Hartford, Conn., Houston, and Phoenix. Under her direction, Shepley expanded its expertise in the areas of higher education, healthcare, and urban development. As CEO, Wedge also bolstered the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

“Beyond her design prowess, Angela is known for developing and managing relationships, as well as empowering others,” said Wedge, who will step into a principal role at Shepley. “As president and CEO, she will work tirelessly to showcase and mentor the exceptional design talent within the firm and push our team to continuously think creatively and strategically alongside our clients. Shepley is well-positioned for growth under Angela’s leadership.”

Originally from Germany, modern architecture first caught Watson’s eye when she was a child. She noticed from a young age that iconic buildings were too often torn down to make way for “new and improved” architecture. Finding a way to reimagine and save the modern designs of her youth impassioned her to become a designer.

As CEO, Watson will continue the focus on design excellence and executing the firm’s ambitious Healthy People/Healthy Planet plan, a dedicated effort to minimize the environmental impact of their work and create buildings that promote wellness.

“To address current issues and opportunities, including the rapid evolution of technology, the need to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, and drastically reduce our overall carbon footprint, we must think beyond boundaries, ourselves, and tomorrow,” said Watson. “As Shepley’s new CEO, I look forward to working with our clients, my colleagues, and our industry partners to develop new solutions to emerging challenges.”

Watson, who earned her master’s degree in architecture from MIT, is based out of Shepley’s Phoenix office. She returned to MIT as a design studio lecturer from 2006-2010. She served as a lecturer and visiting critic at Arizona State University and at Texas A&M University’s Center for Health Systems Design, as well as numerous design juries. She is a registered architect in 19 states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Mexico, California, and Texas.