Goettsch and Zheng named Co-CEOs at Goettsch Partners

International architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) has named James Goettsch, FAIA and James Zheng, AIA, LEED AP as co-CEOs of the firm. In addition, Goettsch will continue as chairman, and Zheng will continue as president.  

Goettsch and Zheng, principal partners in the firm, have worked closely together for more than 20 years, sharing the leadership and management of the firm since 2013. GP’s board of directors named Zheng co-CEO in recognition of his expanding responsibilities and achievements over the last five years and his ability to enhance the practice going forward. Further, the board believes that the combined efforts of Goettsch and Zheng will strengthen GP’s ability to deliver leading design and technical expertise at the highest service level.  

“An established leader, James has been a critical part of the firm’s success,” said Goettsch. “The opportunity for us to collaborate even more closely brings a combined perspective that will improve the firm’s work and performance.”

In his expanded leadership role, Zheng will focus on developing a strategy for future growth and strengthening the firm’s global identity. He will continue to be directly involved in the planning and design of large-scale office, hospitality, residential and mixed-use developments worldwide, applying his expertise in design, management, operations and business development.   

A native of Shanghai, Zheng studied architecture at Tongji University for two years before moving to Chicago. He received a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master of business administration degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Since joining the firm in 1995, he has risen to his leadership position with balanced strengths in design, management, operations and business development. In recognition of his wide-ranging talents and accomplishments, Zheng received the 2004 AIA Chicago Young Architect Award and was named among the Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 in 2005. He is a member of the AIA, a registered LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and its Advisory Group, and a member of The Executives’ Club of Chicago.

Goettsch will continue to lead the direction and quality of the firm’s design activities as chairman and co-CEO, directing the design of multiple significant projects within the office and expanding the firm’s business. Goettsch received a bachelor of architecture degree from Iowa State University and began his career in New York City. He moved to Chicago to work for CF Murphy Associates, which became Murphy/Jahn, remaining with the firm for 19 years, including five years serving as principal in charge of the New York office. Goettsch joined Lohan Associates as a design principal in 1992 and helped guide the firm’s transition to Goettsch Partners in 2005.

In 1988, the American Institute of Architects named Goettsch a Fellow in recognition of his contributions to the profession. Throughout his career, he has been recognized by the AIA, other professional organizations and academic institutions with local, regional and national design awards, as well as invitations to speak publicly on design issues. Goettsch is a member of the AIA, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and the Mies van der Rohe Society. He has served on the boards of directors for both the AIA Chicago chapter and the Chicago Architecture Foundation.