Washington, DC, is an international city, absorbing and influencing global culture from its home on the Potomac. Our DC office is similarly diverse—an eclectic mix of people whose nationalities, cultures, ages, and experiences, are united by their passion for timeless design. Many of our most culturally important projects come out of DC, from landmark airport terminals like Reagan National, to prominent memorials like the National World War II Memorial and the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. Located walking distance from the White House and Metro Stations, the DC office also specializes in office space transformations, and has renovated 2.5 million square feet of office space in the last 10 years alone.
Rick Thompson, Jr.
Vice President; Managing Principal
Washington, DC 20036-2683
Washington DC Leadership
Rick Thompson, Jr., AIA, MBA, PhD
Rick Thompson is an architect and MBA with a doctorate in engineering and 25 years of experience as a multi-disciplinary practice leader. He balances a passion for design excellence with an expertise in performance improvement, risk management, and delivery of multi-billion dollar projects, and has more than two dozen major design awards.
With design and delivery of over 80 federal projects, Emmett has delivered a wide range of project types specified in the RFP, including GSA projects at SSA Woodlawn and the Fallon Building. His other federal projects include the National Archives at College Park, renovations at the US Naval Academy, and GSA projects in Suitland, Avondale, Maryland. He has led similar IDIQ design task orders contracts for GSA (Regions 2, 3, 4 and NCR), Social Security Administration (nationwide), the Army Corps of Engineers (Baltimore District), US Navy (NAVFAC), and National Park Service. By facilitating exceptional technical design solutions, he brings competence to communication, negotiation, BIM delivery, and sustainable innovations. His experience on design-build projects makes him an exemplary IDIQ leader uniquely suited to this sort of contract where coordination and collaboration are critical.
As a Senior Designer with 24 years of experience in DC and New York, John’s work includes corporate-commercial, mixed-use, institutional, hospitality, federal, preservation and adaptive re-use projects in the U.S., Asia and Europe. His design approach strives to create elegant, timeless work that possesses a special meaning for Context and Client alike. He engages the complete process from concept design, through approvals, detailing, and construction to ensure the vision is realized. His passion for excellence can be seen in several successful international mixed-use tower assignments, as well as many domestic projects including his most recently completed building at 660 North Capitol St, NW, Washington DC.
Melissa B. Bennett, AIA, NCARB
Market Sector Leader - Education
Melissa Bennett’s 30 years of design experience include a variety of higher education projects for public and private institutions, with a focus on library programming and design. She brings a passion for the design of community-serving facilities, integrating team and stakeholder relationships and practices, understanding core functions and developing the foundation for successful design solutions with a unique vision. Melissa also has experience in K-12 schools, and has been active with the American Association of Architects, American Library Association and the Society for College and University Planning’s Advisory Council.
David A. Daileda, FAIA
Senior Project Manager
Market Sector Leader - Aviation
David specializes in designing and implementing major aviation projects and programs worldwide. For the past 43 years, he has directed complete project services for aviation facilities with budgets exceeding $500 million, and has managed multi-billion dollar development programs. He excels in the analysis, organization, development and implementation of solutions for complex technical and operational problems, and is noted for his motivational leadership style. In 1991, David was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.
Ruth Jansson, CID, IIDA, LEED AP
Principal - Director of Interiors
Market Sector Leader – Corporate & Commercial
Ruth co-leads a corporate-commercial team that specializes in working with developers and asset managers. She has worked with prominent Washington DC developers for 26 of her 30 years practicing in the design and architecture field. She is an award winning designer who has had several projects published in Interior Design magazine, and has long been considered one of the most talented colorists in Washington, DC by her peers as well as her clients. Ruth has worked on a variety of project types, including base building public spaces, airports, hotels, law firms, financial institutions, fitness centers, core restrooms and professional theaters. She has a gift for maximizing floor plate efficiency for corporate clients, and continually enhancing the planned space for end users and property managers alike.
Ruth is also very involved with Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) DC. In 2017 she was named the co-chair of its sponsorship committee, and continues to have a position on its membership committee. A member of CREW for 28 years, Ruth was also on its board of directors, focused on programs.
Irena Savakova, RIBA, LEED AP BD+C
Director of Design
Irena is an award-winning architectural designer with 25 years of experience developing projects for federal, commercial and educational facilities in the US and internationally. She enjoys an industry-wide reputation for her creativity, passion, and knowledge in managing complex core and shell developments, interiors, and space-planning projects. Over the past seven years, Savakova has led or contributed to the architectural design of new signature facilities for the US Department of State, Social Security Administration, the National Guard Bureau, the Air National Guard, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and NASA. She began her design career in Bulgaria. In 1991 she graduated with a Master of Architecture degree and began practicing in the European Union, where she is licensed as a registered architect. In 1995, she earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Mark is the co-leader of a team that specializes in project design and management of corporate commercial and highly technical facility projects. He and his team work closely with developers and asset managers providing innovative designs that incorporate Building Information Modeling (BIM), strategic planning and sustainable building practices. Mark has 20 years’ experience, is a licensed architect in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, and is a member of the National Capital Region Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.