James Goettsch


James Goettsch is the chairman and CEO of Goettsch Partners as well as the firm’s design director, responsible for developing the firm’s design talent and leading the direction and quality of design for the office.

Mr. Goettsch brings more than 40 years of professional experience. He has personally directed and has been involved in all phases of design and construction for buildings throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. His experience includes high-rise office, hotel and mixed-use developments; corporate headquarters facilities; academic and other institutional buildings; master plans; and renovation and repositioning assignments.

Noteworthy projects include the 33-story original building and 24-story “vertical completion” at 300 East Randolph in Chicago, also known as the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Headquarters; the five-building, 3 million-square-foot Sowwah Square office complex in Abu Dhabi, which features the headquarters building of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange; 111 South Wacker in Chicago, the first-ever project certified LEED-CS Gold; the China Diamond Exchange Center in Shanghai; the 4.5 million-square-foot Nanjing International Center mixed-use development; the 900-key Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residence, scheduled to be the largest hotel in the city; the Headquarters for the Americas for Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas in Glenview, Illinois; and Northwestern University’s new signature building for the Bienen School of Music, located along the lakefront of the school’s Evanston, Illinois, campus.

Mr. Goettsch received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Iowa State University. After two years in the military, he started his career in New York City. He later moved to Chicago to work for CF Murphy Associates, which became Murphy/Jahn. He remained with that firm for 19 years, including five years serving as principal in charge of the New York office. Mr. 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 Mr. Goettsch a Fellow in recognition of his contributions to the profession. Throughout his career, he has been recognized by the AIA and other professional organizations and academic institutions with local, regional and national design awards, as well as invitations to speak publicly on design issues.

Mr. Goettsch is a member of the AIA, the Urban Land Institute, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and the Mies van der Rohe Society. He previously served on the boards of directors for both the AIA Chicago chapter and the Chicago Architecture Foundation.