Leo A Daly III
Leo A Daly III, FAIA, RIBA, FRAIA, is Chairman and CEO of LEO A DALY, a U.S.-based international architecture, planning, engineering and interiors firm. As such, he leads a team of professionals schooled in STEM disciplines who put their education and experience to work every day designing beautiful, comfortable, safe, and sustainable buildings.
Mr. Daly, who holds professional registration as an architect in 48 states and several countries, received his degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and is a member of its Board of Trustees. In 1981, he became chairman of the architectural firm founded by his grandfather and nurtured by his father. Since then, he has provided visionary guidance for the firm’s many professionals who serve as teachers, mentors, advisors, and jurors for students preparing for STEM design careers.
A supporter of STEM education, Mr. Daly believes in combining professionals from engineering, architecture, planning, and interior design into teams, assuring easy communication and problem-free projects for clients. His own teaming skills have garnered him international relations awards from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Italy, and the government of Hong Kong, SAR. The firm’s Cheung Kong Center there is a towering example of STEM proficiencies.
Mr. Daly is a Fellow of the American and Australian Institutes of Architects and has been awarded the Society of American Military Engineers’ Urbahn Medal in recognition of his work in architecture, particularly leading the design and construction oversight teams of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Established in 1915, LEO A DALY is an international architecture, planning, engineering, interior design, and program management firm. The firm’s award-winning portfolio includes projects in 87 countries, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia. With nearly 800 employees in 31 offices worldwide, the firm consistently ranks as one of the top international design firms.
LEO A DALY’s notable work includes Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the National World War II Memorial, the J. Craig Venter Institute for Genomic Research, the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, and the Italian Chancery, Washington, D.C.; Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral and Tom Bradley Int. Terminal, Los Angeles, CA; the UNLV Lied Library and Vdara Hotel and Spa, Las Vegas, NV; the Casino del Sol, Tucson, AZ; the Midwest Regional Headquarters of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Omaha, NE; the Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong, SAR; and Repsol YPF Technology Center, Madrid, Spain.
At LEO A DALY, we are passionate about architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design, and all professions that require grounding in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Whether we are planning a campus, designing a building, engineering a control tower, or calculating the materials required for elegant and long-lasting interiors, we are applying STEM concepts every day. We bring creativity and innovation to each STEM task, and we believe the combination is a powerful one—not just in our field, but in multiple fields critical to our nation’s future. We encourage our designers and engineers to dream and envision, to think critically, and to always try new things, because history tells us that many of our nation’s most innovative solutions emerged from repeated experiments. Today, technological tools like Building Information Modeling software allow us to experiment virtually—identifying a building’s design issues before construction ever begins. We think advancing technologies will contribute in similar ways to our quest for sustainable building solutions.
For a building to succeed, every aspect of its design—from how it is structured to the size of its mechanical systems to the materials used—must be integrated and harmonious. And because each aspect of a building’s elements is designed and configured by different professionals—an architect for one, an engineer for another—such integration requires constant collaboration. We determined long ago that multidisciplinary project teams—whose members sit together and talk with each other—head off potential design issues before they become problems. And that makes a client’s project smooth and problem-free. Our firm pioneered this STEM-friendly way of working in the architectural industry, and we apply it successfully in other ways—via cross-company training, development, and a Leadership Institute involving team members from every department, role, and responsibility level.
We believe strongly in the role of STEM in everything we do, and we invest accordingly in programs that educate and train the professionals we want to hire. Through our nearly 100 years in the architecture/engineering/design business, we have sent cadres of LEO A DALY volunteers into STEM classrooms to serve as teachers and mentors. Additionally, we have provided job shadowing to students eager to observe our work and creative processes. We have also committed steady financial support to STEM endeavors. In fact, for 40 years we have contributed funding for an international scholarship within the University of Nebraska’s school of architecture (we have been headquartered in Omaha since our company’s founding there), and we support the Society of American Military Engineers’ mentoring program, a natural fit for a firm like ours that regularly partners with the Federal government on veterans’ hospitals and other facilities. Our executives have also been active in raising nearly $2 billion in funds for the University of Nebraska, including $8 million in funding to the school of architecture and engineering.
We are very proud of one STEM initiative in particular—our support of the Peter Kiewit Institute, a high-technology learning and research institute that is home to 1500 students from two University of Nebraska colleges—Engineering, Sciences and Technology. An important part of the Institute’s mission is to develop a high-tech workforce to meet industry, business and government needs, and we consistently hire well-trained Kiewit graduates. But we don’t just hire Kiewit grads—we put them to work on projects that are proof of the value of the curriculum. The Institute recognized LEO A DALY with its Architectural Engineering Outstanding Alumni Project Award for that very reason. We are a longtime supporter of the Kiewit Institute in other ways as well. A LEO A DALY executive serves on the Institute’s professional advisory board and on its entrepreneurial awards program board, which evaluate applicants largely on STEM criteria.
When it comes to promoting STEM education, we acknowledge our bias for architecture and engineering. We believe in the strength, beauty, and appropriateness of a well-designed building. We thrive on making them a reality for each of our clients; and we think there is nothing more exciting than doing so. But it is not just our conviction for what we do that attracts the future generation of architects and engineers to our field and our firm. It is our willingness to lead by example, to actively engage in STEM education, and most importantly to offer varied career paths and worldwide work opportunities. We succeed by hiring smart, well-educated students—men, women, minorities—who are as excited about the design world as we are—and by putting them to work on projects that use their knowledge and ideas. We value their skills, talent and enthusiasm, and there is no bigger draw than that.