David Whitcomb

The following is a press release announcing new leadership of CallisonTRKL.

Kelly M. Farrell AIA, LEED AP BD+C has been named President and CEO of CallisonRTKL, the global architecture and urban design practice. A registered architect with more than 20 years of experience, Farrell has been with the firm since 2004, gradually earning positions of increasing responsibility and managing a diverse portfolio of projects. The appointment, which was announced by CRTKL’s parent, Arcadis, comes following the departure of Tim Neal, who officially steps down on 10 May.

"Kelly is a proven leader who brings a strong business sense and the ability to unite people under a common vision,” says Mary Ann Hopkins, Group Executive at Arcadis. “She is also a practitioner, so she has a deep understanding of the industry and, most importantly, client requirements. Kelly is exactly who CRTKL needs at the helm.”

CRTKL has recently navigated through a series of management changes and Farrell’s appointment brings stability and proven leadership to the organization. As someone who has made her career at the firm, she understands the unique demands facing today’s global architecture and design practices. Her project work, which includes multi-family developments, mixed-use districts and, most recently, workplace commissions, has exposed her to a range of management and design challenges.

“I’ve worked my way up through the years, and remain excited by what the future holds, what’s over the next hill,” says Farrell. “This firm’s greatness has always been the talented, creative people in every office in every city. My first priority is to build on that and grow a professional practice able to address the challenges of today with a strategy and vision that is poised for the next 50 years.

The architecture industry has experienced significant disruption over the last economic cycles, not least from industry consolidation and the integration of new technologies. CRTKL has committed to drive that change, and Farrell is eager to take on the challenge.

“We need to continue to diversify our talent base and strengthen our profile in what is becoming a hyper-charged business environment. The beating heart of any creative organization is the range and agility of its talent. That will be the battlefield for any CEO over the next few years.”

Farrell (42) joined CRTKL’s Los Angeles office in 2004 and has been based there since. She has served as the Workplace Global Practice Group Leader and, more recently, Executive Vice President for Projects and Partnerships. She has been a member of the firm’s Executive Committee since 2016, where she has helped shape overall firm strategy and direction.

Farrell earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture from The Catholic University of America. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Ken, also an architect, and son, Keegan.