Male, born 1952-02

Associated with the firm network

Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson, (NBBJ)

Professional History


Project Designer, The McKinley Architects, Seattle, WA, 01/1979-12/1984. Suehiro and his wife donated money to name a first-floor gallery space for David McKinley, the "McKinley Futures Studio."

Partner, The Richardson Associates (TRA), Airport Design, Seattle, WA, 12/1984-01/1997. Suehiro served as TRA's design partner responsible for airport design.

Architect, Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson (NBBJ), Seattle, WA, 01/1997-03/2008. Suehiro directed NBBJ’s Airports Studio, planning and designing air terminals. He left TRA just before Ted McCagg was ousted as head of the same firm by its new owners, Black and Veatch, a Kansas City, MO-based engineering firm, in 11/1996. (See James Epes, Puget Sound Business, “Airport designer departing TRA, arriving NBBJ,” published 03/16.1997, accessed 11/18/2020.) McCagg had run TRA's airport studio before Suehiro.

Principal, Suehiro Architecture, Seattle, WA, 03/2008- . This firm specialized on airport design. Of his design consultantship, Suehiro wrote on his page: "Jim believes that airports are about people - designing his interdisciplinary methods to complement his conviction that the airport itself should be memorable, express the spirit of a region and its physical context, becoming civic statements that evoke community pride through identity and image. He believes that the integrated team creates strategies and designs of best value, and his means and methods focus on the opportunities of the future. Jim has shaped the personality of seventy projects at thirty airports through research on the future of air travel, his integrated approach to planning and design, and client service - all are focused on enriching the passenger experience in the airport business enterprise context." (See, "James M Suehiro FAIA," accessed 11/18/2020.)

Marga Rose Hancock said of Suehiro: "Through his leadership in the development of integrated practice methods, James M. Suehiro FAIA (UW BAED 1976, MArch 1982) has positively influenced project delivery transformation within the building industry. His knowledge of collaborative integrated processes has contributed to new definitions of practice." (See [], "Jim Suehiro FAIA," accessed 11/18/2020.)


Director, University of Washington, Seattle (UW), College of Built Environments, Institute for Built Environment Innovation, Seattle, WA, 03/2018-02/2019. Suehiro's page stated of this position: "Jim Suehiro FAIA, as Director of the Institute for Built Environment Innovation (i.BE), lead the startup team formulating this applied research entity at the College of Built Environments (CBE), University of Washington. As an architect, his guidance in support of the team was founded in specialized knowledge and experience managing strategic design processes for integrated multi-disciplinary projects. With vision and purpose, the team focused on a methodology to design and communicate process frameworks and protocols for both fundamental and applied research projects while in their study definition phase. The CBE at the University of Washington is unique with its five departments: Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Real Estate, and Urban Design and Planning. The i.BE integrates the breadth of research capabilities in this multi-disciplinary college. Jim’s interim director position was assigned to the CBE Office of the Dean." (See, "James M Suehiro FAIA," accessed 11/18/2020.)

Professional Activities

Suehiro directed some of his professional time in expanding diversity among architects.

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA.

President, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA, 1988-1989.

Member, AIA, National Board of Directors, Washington, DC, 2008-2009. He represented the organization's Northwest and Pacific Region.

Regisitered Architect in the States of WA and HI in 2020.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 2009. (See Daily Journal of, “3 Seattle architects named AIA fellows,” published 03/04/2009, accessed 11/18/2020.) Suehiro was elevated to Fellowship in the AIA along with Seattle architects Richard Dallam and Gerald "Butch" Reifert.

Recipient, AIA, Richard Uphohn Fellowship.


High School/College

Graduate, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Honolulu, HI, 1970.

B.A., Environmental Design, University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Seattle, WA, 1973-1976.

M.Arch., University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Seattle, WA, 1979-1982.



Suehiro attended Manoa Elementary School and Robert Louis Stevenson Intermediate School, and Theodore Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, HI,


He first wed Edith Y. Suehiro. They divorced on 06/03/1976. (See, Source Citation: Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington State Divorce Indexes, 1969-2014, accessed 11/16/2020.)

James M. Suehiro married Gerin K. Goldberg on 06/17/1978 in King County, WA. (See, Source Citation:Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington, Marriage Index, 1969-2014, accessed 11/16/2020.)

PCAD id: 7242