Announcements November 2, 2021

Yanel de Angel Appointed Managing Director of Perkins&Will’s Boston Studio

Predecessor Robert Brown will continue to lead the studio’s corporate and commercial practice.

BOSTONYanel de Angel, the visionary architect behind the global design movement ResilientSEE, has been named Managing Director of Perkins&Will’s Boston studio. De Angel represents a new generation of leadership for the studio, and her appointment reflects its natural evolution. She succeeds Robert Brown, who will continue his role as the corporate and commercial practice leader.

“This transition represents an opportunity to take the studio that propelled my professional evolution and supported my growth to the next level,” says de Angel. “I am deeply honored. I look forward to nurturing our talent and serving our clients locally and globally.”

De Angel and Brown have worked closely over the past year to ensure a seamless transition that prioritizes continuity of service to clients.

“It has been a privilege to lead the Boston studio for the last decade,” says Brown, who also remains an active member of the firm’s Board of Directors. “But I am also a firm believer in the renewed energy that a new leader can bring. I have utmost confidence in Yanel’s ability to steer the studio into the future. Together, we’re committed to a smooth transition focused on exceptional client service, design excellence, and a vibrant studio culture.”

Yanel de Angel: Driving Impact and Inclusion

De Angel assumes the role of Managing Director after 13 years with the firm. Her reputation for simplifying the complex and building consensus among stakeholder groups earned her accolades early in her career as part of the firm’s Higher Education practice. She was a founding member of the Perkins&Will Project Delivery Board, where she helped to develop strategy for complex project processes and facilitate nimbleness in the delivery of services. Today, she manages large mixed-use projects in Boston and internationally.

De Angel has channeled her expertise to drive community impact. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the San Juan native co-founded ResilientSEE, a global platform of design professionals, nonprofits, and academic institutions that provides pro bono resilient planning and design services to communities in Puerto Rico. The platform has expanded since its inception, with ongoing projects in Boston, Atlanta, and Mexico. She is also embedded in several organizations at the local scale; de Angel currently serves as Vice President of Practice at the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA), and is an active board member of Sociedad Latina and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.

Combining her experience managing complex teams and commitment to social purpose, de Angel will lead the Boston studio with an emphasis on its values. “Through design, we can build a future that is more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive,” says de Angel. “These values are part of our DNA and embedded in our design ethos. By leveraging many perspectives, we can tackle our biggest challenges and imagine an even brighter future.”

Robert Brown: Designing a Sustainable Practice

Brown passes the baton following a ten-year period of growth for the studio. Once a 60-person office that specialized primarily in higher education and healthcare-focused design, the studio has matured into a 150-person team spread across nine interconnected areas of practice. It has earned notable recognition, including the Harleston Parker People’s Choice Award, and—with a vibrant design culture and deep bench of leadership firmly in place—it is poised for continued success.

Among Brown’s notable accomplishments has been the growth of the commercial practice in Boston. The portfolio now includes ongoing work as the master architect for MIT’s Kendall Square Development and the design of the celebrated Exchange at 100 Federal. As part of the leadership transition, Brown will redirect his attention to the sustained growth of this practice at local, regional, and national scales.

“For me, this is an opportunity to focus even more deeply on my clients and their projects,” Brown says of the shift. “This is work that continues to inspire.”

A Bold Succession Strategy for the Firm

The leadership transition in Boston coincides with other major appointments around the firm: In Chicago, principal Lindsey Peckinpaugh has become Managing Director and principal Bryan Schabel has joined Ralph Johnson as the studio’s Co-Design Director. And Gina Berndt—formerly the Managing Director in Chicago—has been elevated to Chief Marketing Officer.

This leadership succession is an important part of Perkins&Will’s evolution and business strategy. It reflects our commitment to talent development from within, as well as our responsiveness to changing client needs in a post-COVID era,” says CEO Phil Harrison. “We’re grateful for the leadership of Robert and Gina as Managing Directors, and look forward to their continued contributions to the firm in their new roles. We also know our clients in Boston and Chicago are in excellent hands with Yanel, Lindsey, Bryan, and Ralph.”