Marin Architects, a New York City-based architecture and design firm, appoints former Project Architect Neka Highland as Partner. Based out of the Louisiana office, Neka is the first woman to serve in  the role in the firm’s 35-year history and joins Founder and Senior Principal Walter Marin and Principal Minkuk Kim in this leadership position.  

“Since the opening of our Louisiana office, Neka has greatly expanded our firm’s geographical presence,” comments Walter Marin. “Her dedication to empowering all professionals in the industry does not go unnoticed, and we know that Neka will drive our firm towards expansion and continued development across market sectors and regions.”  

Formerly based out of New York City, Neka relocated to New Orleans in 2016 to serve New York clients while also creating a national brand for the firm. A stickler for details, her preferred type of project is residential—working on many multifamily buildings during her time at Marin Architects. Her career highlights include the Brooklyn Amity School and  313 West 117th St. One of her recently approved projects is a seven-story mixed-use building at 183-03 Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. Neka is currently leading the design process on a mixed-use structure in Manhattan as well as a residential building in the Bronx. She secured a partnership with a restaurant franchise and is now realizing establishments across the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast.  

“Having joined the firm nearly 13 years ago, I am honored to sit alongside the leadership team that has given me a voice  as a woman in the architecture and design industry,” remarks Neka. “Young women are entering this profession in  greater numbers, and the key to their success is dependent on our continued support.” Many of Neka’s colleagues  consider her a mentor. She is always willing to explain technical approaches and educate others about zoning and building codes.  

Neka will work alongside Minkuk Kim, LEED, BD+C, and Certified Passive House Designer. Managing some of the most significant projects at Marin, Minkuk is known for creating precise construction drawings and holding the firm to a high standard for safety, environmental compliance, and design. With 13 years of experience as a Registered Architect, he handles multiple client relationships and guides the build process.  

Similarly, Neka draws mentorship and guidance from Founder Walter Marin. With a career that spans nearly four decades, Walter has worked with well-known architecture firms prior to establishing Marin Associates in 1985. Supported by Walter’s keen market knowledge and creative aptitude, the firm has since built a strong roster of repeat clientele and a sterling reputation.  

Neka will have a primary role in strategic development—supporting planning across the firm’s two offices. Her future forward thinking will direct Marin Architects towards a path that is defined by world-class design, inclusive and equitable causes, and meaningful connections.