Academic Practice Leader


Website Ratcliff

Join Ratcliff to discover what’s important, imagine the potential, and design for extraordinary outcomes.

Ratcliff’s academic practice is well-recognized as a regional leader in the planning and design of public and private higher education facilities and independent K-12 schools. We are looking for an Academic Practice Leader who demonstrates an ability to co-lead strategic efforts that will contribute to the evolution and growth of our academic design practice.

What You’ll Be Doing

  • Working with the practice co-leader, Principals and the firm’s Management Committee, to play a key role in the development and execution of business strategies
  • Providing practice leadership via skills in business development, marketing, staff development, project design/delivery and client relations while maintaining and raising the quality standards inherent in the firm’s practice
  • Planning, directing and controlling the delivery of projects, including timely administration of contracts and ensuring that all projects within the practice area collectively support the overall goals and vision of the company are a priority
  • Providing financial and leadership reports to the firm’s Management Committee on a regular basis

Who We’re Looking For

  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in the academic design fields
  • Bachelors degree; B Arch or M Arch desired
  • A current California architectural license is mandatory and additional professional credentials including LEED accreditation is preferred
  • Strong existing relationships with industry leading clients and capability to provide references from key decision makers in client organizations
  • Knowledge of current trends in academic facilities design and delivery
  • A proven track record in the acquisition of new clients and the ability to interact professionally and comfortably with a variety of roles
  • Public speaking, publications, and event participation is required
  • Proficiency in using current software programs in the office as necessary to perform duties as described above
  • Candidates must have legal working status in the U.S. as Ratcliff will not be sponsoring work visas at this time

Why Work at Ratcliff

Ratcliff is an Equal Opportunity Employer, conveniently located in Emeryville, California, just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. We offer competitive compensation, retirement planning, profit sharing, and comprehensive medical benefits for employees and their eligible family members. We also provide paid time off, paid holidays, 16 Fridays off per year, and flexible hybrid work to ensure team members maintain a healthy work-life balance.

To maintain a safe and healthy work environment, Ratcliff requires all staff working in the office to be fully vaccinated and up to date on boosters for COVID-19. If you are hired, vaccination verification will be required to complete the hiring process.

To apply, please send your cover letter, resume, and sample portfolio to No phone calls or drop-ins. All responses will be held in confidence.

For more information about our projects and firm, please visit our website.


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